- On June 5, 2020
Shout Out from a Social Distance Goes to AIS
AIS is headquartered in Leominster, MA and is a leading manufacturer of commercial office furniture and seating. With locations across the US, AIS has more than 800 employees (650 in Leominster) and over 1 million square feet of office, showroom and factory space. The company has remained open and designated as an Essential Employer during the COVID-19 Crisis. This is a result of urgent requests received through its sales and dealer network to provide product to critical services organizations throughout the country. More specifically, AIS has continued to manufacture and ship office furniture products to support hospitals and medical suppliers, biotech firms, local, state and federal agencies, IT firms and other critical providers throughout this crisis. Examples include an emergency nurses station for Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and projects for the FBI and the Pentagon.
In addition to manufacturing its standard and custom office furniture solutions for critical customers, AIS is rapidly developing and producing unique products to help contain the COVID-19 virus. Personal protective equipment and screens are in accelerated product development and will be produced in a converted section of the 600,000 square foot factory. Two types of cloth face masks, one with an anti-microbial lining and one without, are being sewn onsite and distributed to its employees and donated to frontline workers. These include local hospitals, City of Leominster, and local nursing homes. AIS was also able to procure 4000 KN95 masks that it donated to first responders in Leominster and Fitchburg.
Deanna Zarella, Sr. Director of Human Resources, shares insight into what it’s like working at AIS during COVID-19. “It’s going to be a whole new world when the state opens back up. We have been following the CDC recommendations. Face masks are mandated for our employees, and our engineering designers have recreated the work spaces to accommodate social distancing. We take temperatures daily. In the cafeteria we have taken the tables out that seat several people and replaced them with one chair tables for social distancing. We’ve started paying our employees for their 1/2 hour lunch so they don’t have to go to time clock where everyone might bunch up. We have established a daily cleaning schedule for our 600,000 square foot facility. And we communicate everything.”
Deanna continues, “We are trying to get creative and stay ahead of things. That way we should be better prepared for it if it comes back around in the fall. As far as our business goes, we have been focusing on cubicle redesign and retrofits. Cubicles can be aesthetically pleasing AND keep people safe. We are running at full capacity and seeing volume pick up. We are looking to hire new employees, particularly in production.”
Visit their website at https://www.ais-inc.com/ to learn more about AIS.
Our thanks to AIS for being an essential employer, providing vital PPE to the local area, and looking to days ahead when it will be a new normal.