I hope everyone had great holidays despite the on-going COVID-19 pandemic. In my second edition of the President’s corner, I would like to let you know, SAMA is still going strong and continues to be its members’ voice and advocate. Manufacturing is a huge economic engine for our region and it is important to let you, and our community, know this fact. Additionally, how we are doing and what we are planning for 2021.
During the early stages of the pandemic, we had many manufacturers retool their operations to manufacture personal protective equipment (PPE). Primarily, masks, face shields and plastic barriers – many thanks to our manufacturers for looking after our community! Their efforts ensure safety for our community and resulted in SAMA receiving the Alamo Area Council of Governments’ COVID-19 Response and Recovery Award on December 2, 2020. Dave Campbell, SAMA Chair, and I were honored to accept the award on behalf of all manufacturers who retooled their production lines to make PPE.
Throughout the year, we continued to inform members and our partners of needs of manufacturers to include special parts manufacturing, coronavirus updates, specialized cleaning and sanitization services and products, HR, employment law and environmental compliance issues. We also worked with our community partners: CoSA, Bexar County, SAEDF, Workforce Solutions – Alamo, SA Works, and Alamo Colleges to establish training programs for displaced workers due to the pandemic. Although it is hard to find qualified candidates to fill manufacturing positions, industry is working with our partners to develop training pipelines to fill those positions. It will take time, but we are looking towards the future to include automation and robotics. We teamed with TMAC to offer our members a webinar titled – Should I Hire a Robot? Robotics and Automation Case Studies from Small Manufacturers. The list goes on of what we accomplished in 2020.
I do want to let everyone know we are staying on top of issues that are important to our industry. Two items are COVID-19 updates and the recently passed COVID-19 Relief Package by Congress and the President.
Here is the latest from the state, county, and city on COVID-19:
- State – Latest executive order from Gov. Abbott. No change in safe and health protocols. Selected establishments can operate at 75% capacity. There is new information on vaccinations from the Texas Department of State Health Services. It is very informative and gives a realistic view of where we are at in the vaccine distribution, who is eligible for it, how do you get the vaccination, and where. Please click this link for more details: https://www.dshs.state.tx.us/coronavirus/immunize/vaccine.aspx
- County – Latest Executive Order NW-18 of County Judge Nelson W. Wolff, issued December 8, 2020 (bexar.org). Bars are closed until further notice. Household social gatherings, to include family gatherings, shall not include more than ten persons.
- Local – Effective December 29, 2020. Business are to operate at a 50% limit due to the city having seven consecutive days where the number of COVID hospitalized patients of total hospital capacity exceeded 15%. San Antonio is experiencing more than seven days. Restaurants, gyms, retail establishments, etc. are the most affected. Manufacturers are exempt. Click here to see more details: Declarations & Orders – City of San Antonio
Here is the latest on the COVID-19 Relief Package:
On December 27, 2020, the President signed a $900 billion COVID-19 relief package into law. It will provide much needed relief to many businesses who are struggling to keep their businesses open and operating. Of significance is the second round of the Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loans which now includes 501c (6) organizations (SAMA is now included!). Congressman Henry Cuellar provided more detailed information on the COVID-19 relief package and can be seen by clicking here
SAMA 2021 Event Outlook
Just to let you know, we are going slow in our event planning and looking at all possibilities to give our members a return on their investment in SAMA. On Tuesday, January 5, 2021 SAMA had it’s first in-person, and virtual Awards & Recognition luncheon at the San Antonio Country Club (SACC). A small group of 35 members attended with 5 attending virtually. Following strict CDC, SAMA and SACC COVID-19 protocols, our event was very successful and ensured a safe and healthy environment for our in-person attendees and the club’s employees. Future luncheons will be similar and hopefully by spring, we will be able to expand the number of in-person registrations. My staff has provided registration details for the February luncheon to all and it can be accessed by clicking here: https://sama.member365.com/public/event/details/44c4ccf1eec847b5919c0ee5dfae5d267f56c4a0/1
Other events, to include Webinar: Should I Hire a Robot? Robotics and Automation Case Studies from Small Manufacturers, Employment Law and Safety Webinars. The programs will be virtual and registration details have been sent to all. We will have our Annual Spring Fling Golf Tournament at Olympia Hills Golf Course on April 16th. Of significant interest is our upcoming Trade Show and Conference, currently scheduled for May 12, 2021. Our trade show committee will be meeting soon to decide how it will be done. Indications are, it will be a virtual event. More details to follow and I must give kudos to my staff for doing a herculean effort in researching virtual platforms such as Virbela, a virtual world platform built specifically to solve the challenges of remote collaboration. Meet, host events, hold classes, and service your entire remote workforce all in an immersive and engaging 3D world. To learn more about Virbela click here: https://www.virbela.com/
There is so much more to pass on but I promised to keep it short and sweet. As I always say, be safe and healthy as we start 2021.