Manufacturers around CNY preparing plans to keep working during COVID-19 pandemic

Local News

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — While many people in Central New York begin or prepare for working remotely, manufacturers are faced with the prospect of not being able to do that if they want to keep operating.

The Manufacturing Assocation of Central New York (MACNY) has been working with its members to create or add to their emergency plans to keep businesses operating in plants during the COVID-19 pandemic, if possible.

“There’s definitely differences depending on their operations, how many shifts do they have, what are their particular products, these are all what make it very unique to each business,” says MACNY President Randy Wolken.

Gear Motions in Solvay has been updating its plans to continue producing precision metal gearing.

Company President and CEO, Dean Burrows says, “We can look at our front offices, our HR to do payroll and some of our support services but in reality you’ve got to be in our manufacturing facility to do our job.”

About 50 people work at Gear Motions on a schedule of two shifts per day, each working ten hour days Monday through Thursday.

Burrows tells NewsChannel 9, “What we have talked about is separating our operations into smaller groups and we’ll bring in and stagger them over the course of seven days or 24 hours. Now if we end up having somebody who is detected and we have to self quarantine for a two week period of time it’s going to be difficult to do really anything.”

In that event, Gear Motions does have a Buffalo operation where Burrows says some work could be shifted or vice versa from Buffalo to Solvay.

He adds one of the most difficult things to plan for is the impact it will have on orders.

“So we make one product that goes into a larger unit, so we don’t make a final product, so if they’re having trouble getting forgings out of China they can’t make a product which means they don’t need our product. So, we’re starting to see some of that, but at this point we haven’t seen any real issues with that but we do anticipate over the coming weeks and months that it’s going to have an effect on the supply chain.”

MACNY, is a not-for-profit 501(c)(6) association representing over 300 businesses and organizations across Central and Upstate New York.

About three-quarters of MACNY’s members are industrial companies with the remaining members consisting of accounting firms, insurance agencies, law firms, financial institutions and other service providers.

Spread across 26 counties in Central and Upstate New York, MACNY’s member companies employ over 50,000 workers.

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