LIMA — Nearly a year ago, many companies were asked to do extraordinary things to keep their employees safe due to the emergency of the COVID-19 pandemic. Procter & Gamble in Lima was one that quickly changed its operations.
Officials from the company were the guest speakers at the Lima Rotary Club meeting Monday at Veterans Memorial Civic Center.
“As the coronavirus outbreak became more and more prevalent, we had a staged approach. As risks escalated, so did our protocols and cleaning procedures and our standards,” said Bob Hartman, human resource director at Procter & Gamble in Lima.
The plant, known for making Tide, pivoted and started making hand sanitizer for distribution in the community.
“The Lima plant was initially not set up to produce hand sanitizer,” said Carly Rhine, area leader for heavy duty liquids at the plant. “So from the time that the plant received the formula, we had to quickly figure out, OK, how do we modify our equipment in order to make the batches of hand sanitizer? And then we were able to produce our first batch and then within four days get that shipped out to the community.”
The Lima plant produced 340,000 pounds of hand sanitizer, and the United Way helped package and label the product.
“I feel really proud of P&G honestly. It definitely has been tough times being essential workers. We were asked to do a lot, and I feel like we’ve been able to provide for the community and keep everyone safe inside the plant,” Rhine said.
The workers at the Lima plant were instrumental in keeping their doors open during the pandemic.
“I think what it did is it just again reconfirmed our employee’s commitment to the business and commitment to their co-workers and their family’s safety and to the community,” Hartman said. “Our folks were very adaptive, followed our standards. It was important to keep not only themselves and their family safe, but to us being an essential business, we need to make sure we kept production running not only for our fabric care products that were in such demand but also as we quickly pivoted to create hand sanitizer which was very important that we got that out to the community right away.”
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.