October 2, 2020

VPI Team,

In the midst of our busy production season, I wanted to assure you VPI’s employees, clients, and customers’ safety and well-being remains our top priority. Keeping our team as healthy and safe as possible drives our decision-making related to staffing and client services. VPI will continue to take actions in alignment with the CDC’s and Wisconsin Department of Health’s recommendations to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread.

Thank you for your commitment and dedication to these actions by consistently washing your hands, sanitizing work areas, social distancing, wearing your masks at all times within VPI facilities.  Thank you also for staying home if you are feeling ill and/or when you have been in close contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19.

Even with these measures, we understand the COVID-19 cases in our local area are on the rise.

We realize our valued employees, clients, and customers are facing new and unexpected challenges. The pandemic continues to affect our children’s schools, our family members’ workplaces, and many homes.

As a result, we anticipate employee absences will continue to occur, as people need to quarantine themselves if they have been notified of a close-contact exposure to a positive COVID-19 case, or if they have experienced the virus themselves. In the last week, VPI has had to navigate these very challenges with some employees.

I am reaching out to you personally to notify you of this situation and advise you of three critical initiatives VPI will take as this occurs.

  1. Through the local Health Department or through VPI, you will be notified if you have been identified as being in close-contact (within 6 feet for 15 or more total minutes) of an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19. When this occurs, VPI will require you to adhere to the CDC’s and local Health Department quarantine recommendations due to the possible exposure, and advise appropriate steps to take next.
    • There is no requirement for employees to quarantine or isolate at this time unless they have received specific communication from the Department of Health, their health care provider, or a VPI leader.
    • Any impacted employee will not be allowed to return to work until required isolation guidelines have been met. We will continue to stay in close contact with our local Health Departments and will take necessary steps to protect the health of VPI employees and clients.
  2. The level of VPI facility and workspace exposure to COVID-19 will be assessed upon receiving notice of an employee’s positive test result. Deep cleaning and disinfecting of any impacted area will immediately occur to ensure the safety and health of all employees.
  3. With respect to employee and client health status privacy, VPI will adhere to confidentiality of individual circumstances. An employee may be absent for several reasons that do not necessarily indicate COVID-19. VPI will notify callers and schedulers of an employee’s absence without discussing reason for absence. Thank you all for sharing in this respect for privacy.

Thank you for monitoring your own health each day and refraining from coming to work if you exhibit any of the symptoms associated with COVID-19. We will continue to monitor any potential exposure and provide updates as we learn more. Contact me directly with any questions you may have. Thank you for your teamwork and support.

Regards,

Tim Riebau

President & CEO

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, VPI employees and visitors safely wear face masks in all VPI facilities. Face masks are worn OVER NOSE AND MOUTH per the CDC’s recommendations (cdc.org/coronavirus).

Why do I need to wear a face mask over my nose AND mouth?

“Masks are recommended as a simple barrier to help prevent respiratory droplets from traveling into the air and onto other people when the person wearing the mask coughs, sneezes, talks, or raises their voice… evidence from clinical and laboratory studies … show masks reduce the spray of droplets when worn over the nose and mouth. COVID-19 spreads mainly among people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet), so the use of masks is particularly important in settings where people are close to each other or where social distancing is difficult to maintain” (September 28, 2020 cdc.org/coronavirus).

 

As you all probably know, COVID numbers in our area and in WI overall have shot up. As a result, Governor Evers has extended the Health Crisis Emergency Order and Mask Mandate. This is all a good reminder for all of us to reinforce the “COVID basics” across the organization:

  • Stay home if you are not feeling well.
  • Please get tested if you have symptoms or have been with someone for more than 15 minutes and within 6 feet of someone who has tested positive for COVID.
  • Wash your hands and use hand sanitizer often.
  • Wear your masks.
  • Socially distance 6 feet or more when and where possible.
  • Continue to use physical barriers (sneeze guards) where and when possible.
  • Consider working remotely if your job allows it.
  • Limit working in multiple VPI facilities if possible.

We have worked really hard to keep our work environments safe, and want to double down on those efforts in every way possible moving forward. Thanks for all your efforts to date, and let’s stay diligent!

Thanks,

Tim

VPI Employee & Visitor Safety Updates – Face Coverings and Facility Visit Declarations

The safety of our employees, customers, families, and visitors remains Valley Packaging Industries’ (VPI’s) main priority. In an effort to keep all who enter VPI facilities safe and prevent the spread of COVID-19, VPI requires all employees and visitors to abide by these health and safety measures.

MANDATORY FACE COVERINGS

  • All employees, vendors, and visitors must wear face coverings during all working times when on the production floor, in any of our warehouse facilities, and when in a room with two (2) or more people.
  • Valley Packaging Industries, Inc. (VPI) will supply face coverings.
  • If you use your own face cover, it must comply with VPI’s safety requirements.
  • VPI will continue to follow our other preventative measures:
    • Social Distancing
    • Sanitation Procedures
    • Hand Washing
    • Health Questionnaire Screening and Declaration (updated below)
  • We will review these and all safety measures on a regular basis and keep you informed.

HEALTH QUESTIONNAIRE

VPI vendors, visitors, and employees returning from an absence must complete this health declaration prior to entering any VPI facility.

Please circle your answers below.

Have you been diagnosed with COVID-19? Yes No
Were you contacted by the City or County Health Department and instructed to quarantine? Yes No
A.   Skip if you answered No to the first two questions.   If yes to the question above and you did not have a test to determine if you are still contagious:

·       Have you been fever free for at least 72 hours; and

·       Have your other symptoms improved; and

·       At least 10 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared

 

 

Yes

Yes

Yes

 

 

No

No

No

B.  Skip if you answered No to the first two questions.  If yes and you did have a test to determine if you are still contagious:

·       Have you been fever free for 24 hours; and

·       Have your other symptoms improved: and

·       Have you received two negative tests in a row, 24 hours apart

 

 

Yes

Yes

Yes

 

 

No

No

No

C.   If you answered No to the first two questions

·       Have you had a fever in the last 24 hours and did you use fever-reducing medicine? (Tylenol, Ibuprofen, etc.)

·       Do you have any of the following:  a persistent cough, shortness of breath, chills, sore throat, or loss of taste or smell?

 

Yes

 

Yes

 

No

 

No

 

If you answered “no” to any of the questions in boxes A or B, or “yes” to any question in box C, you will not be able to return to work or visit the VPI facilities until your symptoms are gone.

Have you traveled out of the country in the last 14 days? Yes No

 

If you answered “yes” to the traveling question, you may not be able to return to work or enter a VPI facility.  Thank you.

 

__________________________        __________________________      _______________

Printed Name                                      Signature                                           Date

Valley Packaging Industries, Inc. Awarded Grant from  

Kimberly-Clark Foundation

Valley Packaging Industries, Inc. (VPI) is the recipient of a grant award from the Kimberly-Clark Foundation for its Skills for Work, Success for Life! Employability Skills Training Program facilitated on the Kimberly-Clark (K-C) West Campus in Neenah, WI.

This program prepares young adults with disabilities and disadvantages to gain and maintain competitive, integrated, community employment. A key benefit of participation is the students participate in internship opportunities across several job types within the K-C environment. The program is offered during a traditional school semester and in a summer school format.

VPI skills instructors work with the intern’s K-C site mentors to support the students. Students experience mentor-based training, multiple internships, job coaching, classroom skills instruction, career planning guidance, and employment placement services.

Collaborative partners include Kimberly-Clark, local school districts, VPI employment specialists and skills instructors, the Wisconsin Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR), and community employers, after the students graduate.

VPI’s programs are significantly more effective in leading students with disabilities to competitive employment than those who do not receive these services. VPI’s graduate employment rate is > 70% (VPI, 2019) compared to the national 19.1% rate for people with disabilities (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2/26/19).

The 2020 grant award will provide for collaborative program funding and establish an ongoing scholarship, so one underserved student or young adult in need per term, and without other funding sources, will be able to participate in the program. The scholarship preference will be given to young mothers with children in need who have disabilities and/or disadvantages.

Valley Packaging Industries (VPI), a nonprofit organization, served more than 2,700 individuals and families with Rehabilitation Services programs and/or employment opportunities in 2019. VPI provides education, human services, and vocational skills training to Fox Valley residents with disabilities and/or disadvantages. VPI’s two production facilities provide custom packaging and manufacturing services to regional manufacturers to generate funding and training opportunities. VPI collaborates with funding foundations, educational institutions, community employers, and service organizations to accelerate rehabilitation service program growth.

For more information, contact: Lissa Marth at LMarth@vpind.com or (920) 749-5859.

State of Wisconsin Emergency Order #12 – “Safer at Home” and How this affects VPI’s Operations 3/24/20

Valley Packaging Industries (VPI) cares about you! All VPI employees make a difference to our clients and community.  VPI is a critical community provider for the individuals with disabilities we assist and the consumer products (personal hygiene, surface sanitation, disposables, etc.) we package.

Today, Governor Evers signed Emergency Order #12 – “Safer-at-Home” to prevent the spread of COVID-19. In this order, he identified essential businesses and operations that need to stay open to provide “essential products and services” during this public health movement. See the entire Emergency Order at this link: https://evers.wi.gov/Pages/Newsroom/Executive-Orders.aspx

VPI is an “essential business” as both product and service provider to our customers and community. We take this responsibility seriously. VPI is abiding by the CDC guidelines to ensure a work environment that provides the highest levels of safety, social distancing, sanitation, and hygiene practices for our employees and highest level of quality packaging services for our customers. Now, more than ever, we are a critical provider of product packaging services necessary for distribution to the masses.

VPI’s production services are in high-demand because we package products for personal hygiene, surface sanitation, and disposable use. We are hiring seasonal workers to join us now! We encourage all employees to share this opportunity with others. We offer flexible shifts and a fun production atmosphere with paid breaks twice a day. Open positions include performing simple one or two-step packaging or assembly jobs. Pay is based on experience. Please encourage applicants to click on our job postings to learn more and apply today online at https://www.vpind.com/careers/

Thank you for your teamwork and service to VPI and the community at large!

VPI Employee & Visitor Health Declaration – Announcement 3/20/20

VPI Visitors and VPI Employees Returning from an Absence:

The safety of our employees, customers, families, and visitors remains Valley Packaging Industries’ (VPI’s) main priority. In an effort to protect against the COVID-19 virus, we have implemented certain protocols. As an interim measure, we are asking all visitors, customers and employees that have been absent from work, to complete this health declaration prior to entering any of our facilities. This form is voluntary; however, you will not be allowed access to any VPI facility or workplace if you decline to fully respond. The data we collect will be used solely for purposes of preventing COVID-19 transmission and/or responding to a future COVID-19 diagnosis and will not be shared with anyone beyond those who reasonably need to know in order to apply VPI workplace safety policies, or as required by a public health authority or other such body.

Health Questionnaire

In the past 14 days, have you been in close contact with anyone who has been diagnosed with or reasonably suspected of having COVID-19? Yes No
Have you been advised by a doctor, healthcare provider, or any public health authority to stay home or otherwise avoid contact with others? Yes No
Do you now or have you recently had a fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other respiratory symptoms? Yes No
In the past 14 days, have you traveled to or connected through a location under CDC Level 3 travel advisory (please note that the level 3 travel may change rapidly but is currently China, South Korea, Iran and all countries in Europe)? *Refer to www.cdc.gov for up to date information on level 3 travel advisories. Yes No

Note: If you have answered “Yes” to any of the questions above, you will not be allowed on the site.

________________________________   _________________________________   _______________

Printed Name                                              Signature                                                     Date

VPI Employee Announcement – 3/18/20

To you, our valued employees: your health, safety, and well-being are very important to us – both at work and at home! Thank you for doing your part in taking steps to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus:

  • Call in sick and stay home if you are not feeling well or exhibit any of the COVID-19 symptoms communicated by the CDC (www.cdc.gov)
  • Engage in social distancing
  • Avoid mass gatherings
  • Increase your personal hygiene habits with the CDC’s (www.cdc.gov) guidelines for consistent hand-washing, sanitation, hygiene, and cleaning.

For those of you who call in sick and stay home, be sure to adhere to the CDC’s (www.cdc.gov) recovery guidelines before returning to work. When you are healthy and ready to return, enter through the main entrance of the VPI facility where you work. Let the receptionist know you are returning to work after an illness and need to connect with a Human Resources representative.

Since VPI recently upgraded the security system for the production facilities to contribute to your safety, your security badge will need to be re-activated and your credentials secured before re-entering the work site. Thank you for understanding and for your support!

We appreciate your teamwork in providing for a healthy and safe workplace, 

Tim Riebau, President

We, Valley Packaging Industries, continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation with attention toward our top priority – the health, well-being, and safety of our employees and customers. We have put in place a comprehensive plan with vigilant commitment to adhere to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC’s) guidelines (https://www.cdc.gov/) and Governor Ever’s (State of Wisconsin – Department of Health Services) Emergency Order #5 – “Prohibiting Mass Gatherings of 10 People or More” announced today.  The CDC guidelines and this State of Wisconsin Emergency Order are focusing on preventing the spread of the virus.

VPI has taken these communications seriously and has met and/or exceeded the CDC guidelines put in place related to sanitation, employee hygiene, facility cleanliness, and recommended social distancing with staggered break times and work spaces.

As a nonprofit organization, VPI facilities are EXEMPT from this emergency order. The Emergency Order #5 (prohibiting mass gatherings) is specified on The Wisconsin Department of Health Services website: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19/index.htm

Two areas of exemption apply to VPI:

  • #6 – RELIEF FACILITIES – food pantries and shelter facilities, including Day Centers, for individuals and families
  • #12 – COMMERCIAL & NONPROFIT ENTITIES – point B – manufacturing, processing, distribution, and production facilities

Valley Packaging is a critical community provider for the individuals with disabilities we assist and the consumer products (sanitary, baby, feminine care, etc.) that we package. In this time of uncertainty, we are collaborating with our customers and adhering to CDC guidelines to ensure a work environment that provides the highest levels of safety, sanitation, and hygiene practices for our employees and highest level of quality packaging services. Since VPI’s services are in high-demand, and our business is preparing for its normal seasonal high, our production facilities are open, fully operational, and are hiring seasonal production workers.

We look forward to continuing our work with you.