Joe’s Quarterly Update – July 21

During the pandemic, the top priority of WestBridge Vocational has been and continues to be the health and safety of our employees, consumers, and stakeholders.  As restrictions are easing, health and safety remain priority number one.  In our business world, the easing of restrictions means more demands for the medical devices manufactured in our facility.

New Opportunities

There are new opportunities in personal protective equipment (PPE) heightened by the pandemic.  But our immediate concerns and focus are on the resurgence of medical devices associated with elective surgeries and procedures and building adequate inventory levels for our medical devices needed by individuals combatting COVID-19. Our workload is significant, and demands have never been greater.  It is a problem, but I like to refer to it as a “good problem.”  To meet these challenges, we must invest time and resources in two areas – process improvements and our employees.  The most crucial question an employee can ask is “what if”?  This simple question leads us to examine an existing process and consider a better way, a more efficient way, to streamline the process. Our employees need to ask, “what if,” and management should encourage employees to share ideas on improving a process.  We must also recognize that our partners outside of the organization can assist with process improvements.  To that point, we have sought the assistance of the WCU Rapid Team and WCU student teams.  The expertise from our friends in Cullowhee is crucial as we look to streamline processes where available, automate where available, and secure new opportunities.

We Must Invest in Our Employees

We must also continue to invest in our employees.  WestBridge Vocational realizes the importance of providing a well-rounded benefits package that will attract and retain employees. We have made significant increases in employee benefits over the past five years and will continue to examine benefits.  For Fiscal 2022, we will invest more than ever in training. Specific skills training provides opportunities for employees to grow their knowledge base, improve their job skills, and become more effective in the workplace. Beyond the workplace, an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) will soon be available to all employees.  The EAP assists employees with personal or work-related problems that may impact job performance, health, and mental and emotional well-being. The manufacturing demands and opportunities that lie ahead for WestBridge Vocational are daunting.  But by continuing to invest in the development and well-being of our employees and improving our manufacturing processes, we will be successful.  And success in our manufacturing efforts leads to a win in our mission of connecting people to opportunity. Joe Rigdon, CEO

WestBridge Vocational is a non-profit organization that provides programs and services that bridge the gap between people with disabilities or disadvantages and gainful employment. We support our mission primarily through our work as a leading manufacturer of disposable surgical products for major medical companies.

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