Volvo Trucks North America is helping the communities where its employees live and work by producing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for local medical facilities, and through donations to nonprofit organizations.
“Our employees and our communities are extremely important to Volvo Trucks,” says Peter Voorhoeve, Volvo Trucks North America president. “We want to do what we can to help during the current situation, whether it’s designing and manufacturing critical PPE or through financial or in-kind donations, and we’re very proud of our employees who played such a vital role in these efforts.”
Three facilities supporting Volvo Trucks North America are manufacturing PPE for local medical facilities, including the Technical Center in Greensboro, N.C.; the New River Valley (NRV) manufacturing plant, where all Volvo trucks for North America are assembled, based in Dublin, Va.; and the Volvo Group Powertrain facility, where the powertrain for North America is assembled, based in Hagerstown, Md. Utilizing existing technology, each site converted areas that are now assembling various types of PPE, based on material availability and local demand, Volvo says.
At the NRV truck plant in Dublin, a team of employees in various functions created multiple iterations of a face shield design until one impressed local medical professionals and met their requirements. An ear guard, with the message “Heroes at Work” incorporated into the design as a gesture of gratitude to those working with patients, also is in production at NRV. To date, NRV has delivered approximately 650 face shields, ear guards and N95 face masks to LewisGale Hospital in Pulaski, Va.; Twin Counties Hospital in Galax, Va.; VCU Medical Center in Richmond, Va.; and various fire department and EMS units in Pulaski County, Va.
“The face shield is one of the most difficult pieces of equipment to find in our area,” says Franky Marchand, vice president and general manager at NRV. “I’m extremely proud of the resourcefulness and willingness to help that our employees — and even their families — exhibited working to create these headbands, which very much exemplifies the can-do attitude that we’ve come to expect from our NRV employees.”
At the Volvo powertrain facility in Hagerstown, engineers utilized existing designs and began 3D-printing face shield headbands and ear guards, piloted and revised by employees at the site until satisfying local medical professionals. Employees who are working from home and who have their own 3D printers also are printing PPE. A total of 700 face shields and ear guards have been delivered to Meritus Health Center in Hagerstown, WellSpan Waynesboro Hospital in Pennsylvania, the local Homewood Retirement Center, and the site’s Family First Medical Center & Pharmacy, Volvo says.
The Volvo powertrain facility also recently committed to donating healthy snacks on a weekly basis to the Hagerstown YMCA, which was mandated to provide childcare for medical professionals and first responders until the COVID-19 situation is over.
“The ingenuity of employees at the Hagerstown facility has never been more evident than during COVID-19,” says Marcus Minkkinen, vice president of powertrain production at the Hagerstown Powertrain facility. “We are pleased to be able to support our community through the teamwork of our employees and the manufacturing of PPE that is so vital during this time.”
In Greensboro, N.C., employees at the Technical Center are using 3D printers and stereolithography 3D systems to produce face shields and ear guards. They have delivered approximately 1,000 items to Cone Health in Greensboro. Previously, the company donated to Cone Health several thousand pieces of PPE, such as safety glasses, gloves and various types of masks from its internal stock.
The Volvo Group also recently gave $40,000 to the Greensboro Virus Relief Fund, established by the United Way, City of Greensboro and the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro to support local children and families impacted by the virus, as well as $20,000 to the Out of the Garden Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to those facing food insecurity in the Piedmont Triad area of North Carolina.
“It’s great to see the drive and commitment from our employees at several Volvo facilities across the U.S., teaming up to share best practices and collectively making a contribution to local communities,” says Voorhoeve.
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