How our employees have risen to the challenge against the global pandemic through individual contributions and selfless acts
COVID-19 has impacted the world in ways nobody has ever experienced, but in the face of such a great challenge, so many have stepped up to fight this pandemic. From big companies like GM, which has taken large-scale actions to produce ventilators or PPE to help those affected by COVID-19, to individuals who have lent their time and ingenuity to help in whatever way they can, the many contributions are making a big impact during this global crisis.
Since March 20, GM teams across manufacturing, engineering, purchasing, legal and more have been tirelessly and seamlessly working together with Ventec Life Systems to create and implement a plan to manufacture ventilators, the first of which arrived at hospitals in Chicago on April 17 – just a month after the project launched. Innovators across the company have also found ways to quickly convert tools and supplies to deliver masks, gowns, face shields and aerosol boxes to medical workers.
Many of these projects started as grassroots efforts led by employees hand-building equipment, with GM and suppliers then applying scale and manufacturing capability to greatly expand the impact.
“It’s amazing how much our employees have accomplished in such a short time,” said Mark Reuss, GM president. “People from all corners of the company have really stepped up to help, and to lend their talents, time and energy to battle coronavirus.”
These large-scale response efforts in the U.S. represent just the beginning of GM employees, suppliers and partners leading the world through the crisis. Here’s a collection of additional stories from around the globe:
Sewing Hospital Gowns
Senior Trim Technician
Warren, Michigan, USA
Dan Lombardi leads the team of six technicians who seized the opportunity to help frontline workers. He uses his sewing skills – taught to him by his father, a tailor by trade – to contribute to the greater good. Each morning, Dan and team wake up and stich gowns that GM team members deliver to local hospitals. The team is able to make an average of 120 per day.
Personal Protective Equipment
Noise and Vibration Virtual Design, Development and Validation Engineer
Milford, Michigan, USA
When Xing Xing’s family in China was impacted by COVID-19 in January, he did all he could to help obtain food and supplies from afar. As weeks passed and the pandemic reached his current home in Michigan, Xing again stepped up after seeing healthcare professionals’ calls for help as news of equipment shortages spread on social media.
“I saw a video posted on social media by a nurse and she said every nurse in the ICU had one N95 mask to reuse day after day,” said Xing. “My mother is a retired doctor and has had a strong influence on my life. Seeing the need by the medical community felt like a call to duty.”
Five days later, a shipment arrived from Xing’s family overseas. He contacted his family doctor to coordinate the donation of nearly 90 masks to healthcare professionals in desperate need of personal protective equipment.
OnStar and Emergency Response Assistance
Jenna Stapley and Edward Bloomdale
Oshawa, Ontario, Canada
Contributing can mean making life feel a little more comfortable for others, even when your own life has been turned upside down. Jenna and Edward are among thousands of advisors who have kept OnStar’s safety and security services operating regularly, even while adjusting to the new normal of working from home. From their own home offices, they engaged 911 responders and even remotely walked an OnStar member through the in-vehicle birth of a new baby girl.
“The immediate joy and happiness felt when we heard those cries is indescribable,” Jenna said of the experience. “I am honored to be medically trained and able to continue serving our members through this pandemic, and calls like these make you remember why we do what we do.”
Repairing Ventilators in Brazil
Rodrigo de Oliveira Souza
Volunteer Electronic Technician
São Caetano Do Sul, São
In Brazil, GM team members stepped up to lead a joint effort with Brazil’s federal government to search hospitals and other facilities to find and repair inoperative ventilators across the country and get them back into service. As of April 24, 2020, the initiative has identified 3,000 pieced of equipment that a team of technicians is working to repair.
Rodrigo is one of those technicians. “A well-functioning ventilator can help save lives,” he explains. “That is why we are here, to help ensure that doctors have conditions to save more lives. We from GM are uniting together against the coronavirus.”
Delivering PPE to Hospitals
Suspension and Structure Engineering Group Manager
Warren, Michigan, USA
In the process of developing and testing new vehicles, engineers regularly coordinate group drives. The group drive Gary Klein organized in April was unlike any other. Recognizing an opportunity to get personal protective equipment to medical workers more quickly, he and engineers from the GM Off-Road Driving team coordinated with GM’s Corporate Giving organization to connect with Michigan hospitals to fill their personal trucks and trailers with equipment for delivery. Gary and 10 colleagues loaded up and headed out to hospitals across Michigan to deliver supplies.
Since the first time Gary loaded his Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 with equipment and headed to McLaren Greater Lansing Hospital in Lansing, Michigan, he and the team have tallied their distance and deliveries: 1,583 miles driven and 136,000 gloves, 72,410 masks, 35 boxes of gowns and 300 boxes of shoe covers delivered. *Data as of April 24, 2020.
A Thousand Heroes in Kokomo
In less than a month, Ventec, GM’s supply chain, manufacturing, logistics, legal, and talent acquisition teams were able to marshal support to consummate a 30,000 ventilator and related consumables order from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
TEAM GM MAKING GLOBAL ACTION AGAINST COVID-19. Source: https://www.gm.com/our-stories/community/employees-help-fight-covid.html