Happy Friday! This has been a long week that has seen highs and lows, and I think we all know that it’s just the beginning. From record unemployment filings of more than 3,000,000 to landmark legislation bringing $2 trillion to the nation to help businesses and individuals persevere, COVID-19 has impacted each and every one of us.
But one of the most interesting things that I’ve noticed is how we have all come together to support one another through this crisis. From GLI’s perspective, our advocacy efforts helped to pass COVID-19 relief legislation in Kentucky, giving businesses relief from fees and administrative burdens, granting employers the needed flexibility to restructure their operations, and strengthening our unemployment system to respond to this crisis. We’ve also developed a comprehensive COVID-19 resource page, and we’re working hard to develop virtual events and programming that provide best practices and assistance to businesses in this pandemic.
But, by no means is GLI alone in the work we are doing. Many other organizations throughout the region and the state have banded together to develop solutions to problems that we didn’t even know were going to exist one month ago. Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) showed tremendous leadership in not only quickly reacting to close schools and keep children in our community safe, but they have also shown creativity in developing solutions to continue to provide much needed meals for the most disparate in our community, providing Chromebooks and free internet to those who need it, and developing non-traditional virtual curriculum to ensure our kids continue to learn.
KentuckianaWorks, in partnership with GLI, has also launched an initiative to support displaced workers and provide a job board where open opportunities can be accessed for all who are looking for work, as well as connecting HR professionals laying off workers with other HR professionals who are hiring.
Students at the University of Louisville’s J. B. Speed School of Engineering are using their 3-D printing technology to develop personal protective equipment (PPE) for local hospitals and clinics. The group has been working for almost a week and has already made more than 200 face shields to be used in conjunction with face masks and respirators. Our business community has also stepped up. So many are making PPE supply donations to the hospitals and even retro-fitting manufacturing lines to be able to make new PPE equipment. If your company has supplies you are not using but think may accommodate a medical facility need (such as masks, footwear, gloves, hand sanitizer, face shields, protective gowns) please contact John Launius and he’ll connect you to a medical facility representative.
Finally, we want to recognize you for all that you have done to keep your employees and our community safe. We understand that each of us has to make difficult choices we never expected to have to make. But your perseverance to do the most you can for the safety and well-being of your employees and our community has not gone unnoticed. From supporting our local businesses to investing in takeout from our local restaurants, to modifying your operations to help develop much needed equipment for our hospitals and clinics, it’s because of you that we will come through this crisis stronger together.