BIXBY'S TEAM DEDICATION EVOKES PRIDE & APPRECIATION
Although recent times can call to mind a number of troubling emotions, as a company, we feel a great sense of pride in the Team here at Bixby. We recently spoke with a few of our employees who have continued to be in the factory throughout this crisis to hear their thoughts about the experience. Overall, the attitude within the company has remained positive and upbeat which is not unlike a typical day at Bixby. Although the manufacturing floor is much less crowded, and most of the desks and offices are empty, you are still guaranteed to see a smiling face when you walk through the building. Rob Law, the Lead Process Engineer mentioned that his “job really hasn’t changed that dramatically except for the lack of other people around. I feel…a little safer, [with] the fact that a lot of people are not here so I have my space and I’m able to do my work out on the floor.”
It has been an interesting experience for everyone. Some employees have had to adjust to working from home, some within the office with a smaller crew and everyone with a concern about COVID-19 lingering in the back of their mind. For one of our compounders, Jim Watson, the feeling has been very positive, “It’s been great. First, I’m happy to be working as a lot of people aren’t… but the company has done the best they can, in my opinion, to make sure that we’re here… that we’re safe.” Some people may ask why these employees are taking a risk each day to come to work. The reason for them, however, is simple — there is a job to be done. “As of right now we are trying to develop one of the new materials for face shields… we [are happy to] help a little bit more knowing that the medical people, they need these supplies and they’ve been running out [of PPE]… almost everywhere. It’s good that we… put [in] a little extra effort and help… the people out there that are working hard every day” said Axel Negron, our 2nd shift supervisor.
Aside from materials for face shields and fulfilling our current contracts with government and military entities, Bixby’s efforts also continue within R&D to find innovative solutions to help with this crisis. Rick Bass, our R&D Operations Manager, was happy to share his feelings and some information on a new formulation for elastic that may be useful for facemasks. “Most of the R&D team has gone home and are working remotely. We operate lab equipment. We operate a small extrusion line so we have to be here every day... Personally, I don’t have a problem with it because I know the management wouldn’t have us here if they thought it was an unsafe situation.”
At the first news of this pandemic reaching Massachusetts, the leadership team jumped into action to reassure all employees about the company’s awareness, concern and plans for the future. “I think they’ve done a very good job at translating that concern to viable action,” stated Rob Law. A thorough electrostatic cleaning of the facilities was done in addition to retaining plenty of masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer for anyone who wanted it. All employees who could work from home were asked to remain home which has allowed those within the building to maintain recommended distances and adhere to all safety precautions. The communication from Dan Rocconi, our CEO, and the leadership team has been phenomenal and truly heartfelt. It is times like these where working for a close-knit, small company help to give a sense of togetherness even while away from the office. There is truly a team environment at this company which has kept everyone, from Sales to R&D, Manufacturing to the company officers feeling optimistic and together despite the current commonality of only virtual communication.
Throughout the conversations with Axel, Jim, Rick, and Rob, the tone of pride in their work rings through. From my personal perspective, as one of the ‘work from home’ employees, I commend their positivity and willingness to put in the extra effort each day. I know I am joined by the entire Bixby team in extending a thank you to each of them for their dedication. And as a company, our thoughts are with those essential workers on the front lines and we hope our efforts here can continue to aide in the purpose of keeping them safe.