News

Team,

Well, good news! Our customer demand is picking up. And we are pleased to announce that we will welcome our 3rd shift team back to the plant this coming Monday evening.

With our 1st shift team being back a few weeks now, we feel like we have a good cadence of testing, cleaning, screening and have incorporated some CIP improvements to provide the safest working environment possible.

We ask that you please wear a mask 😷 and have it on prior to entering the screening process. If you need a mask, we have them available, just indicate that need when in line for screening. Also, note that plant entry starts at 8:30pm, so try and come a few minutes early to allow for screening process and the hand washing station.

We’re not back to normal by any means. Masks, disinfecting and 6ft distances are still a new normal for us. But all of us carry the responsibility to keep each other safe. Please help do your part by adhering to these new requirements as outlined by OSHA, The State if Alabama, and local healthcare consultants.

Have a safe weekend. We’ll see you next week!

Kelly
06/04/2020

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Team,

A quick update on how the reopening has been going.

We have learning a lot over these first few days and are making tweaks to our operations, procedures, and on site/off site deployment of salary staff. All in all is has been very good, but always opportunity for improvements.

First of all I want to say how impressive the team has been on first shift this week. It’s as if we hadn’t missed a beat. Great players don’t forget how to play the game, and it shows based on their performance. And keeping the team safe and healthy outweighs everything else.

That said, it is critical that we control the total number of people in our facility to the lowest number possible in order to keep risk/exposure opportunities low. This is the key to keeping the virus out and away from our team. To that end we have imposed a 23 or less salary workforce plan. There is a plan for each salary person’s time on site, and time they must work from home. It must be strictly adhered to, and if a salary person comes to the plant who is not identified on the list, they will be turned away.

Additionally, we have seen volume requirements reduced again. Based on our current build plan, we will need to postpone the return of 3rd shift. The revised date to start 3rd shift will now be June 8 week. Details will come from your Supervisors and HR in a later communication.

We will post an “All Associate Meeting” video shorty outlining some of our key topics going forward throughout the rest of the crazy year. Look for that announcement in the coming days.

Until then stay safe, keep your distance, and watch out for each other.

Thanks,

Kelly
05/20/2020

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All,

The plan remains as follows:

First shift start up Monday, 5/18. Holiday Monday, 5/25. Third shift start up Tuesday, 5/26 evening (3rd shift holiday is Monday night).

We will continue to practice safe plant entry and operations based on EAMC and CDC COVID safety guidelines. Those not wanting to work due to being at risk, having a sick family member at home or having child care issues can take Vac, PPT or no pay/no points, but would not remain eligible for unemployment since work will be available.

Call the RAPA voicemail hotline if you are unable or chose not to work for any reason. We are in no hurry. The focus will be one getting back into our routines safely, getting some muscle memory re-established, and looking for Continuous Improvement ideas related to our safe COVID 19 protocols. Ultimately, it is the responsibility of all of us to take this seriously, and to act and behave in such a manner that we are respectful to one another, while also doing everything we can to keep ourselves and our families safe.

See you soon!

Kelly
05/13/2020

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Stop me if you’ve heard this before….

So a new week, a revised plan. But here’s why I think this will be the last delay we see. 90% of the OEMs will restart production by end of the month. FCA which is our biggest customer will resume most operations May 18 week.

That means we will push back our plans by one week. Again, hope this is the last delay and based on restart schedules I think it will be. But as the say, if you want to make God laugh, make plans.

Stay safe and reach out of you have any questions or concerns.

Thanks,

Kelly
05/06/2020
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Hey Team, Happy Wednesday!

I’m sure by now you are aware of the comments by Governor Ivey. We completely agree with her approach. It is safe and it is fair.

To be clear, we as a country, WILL see an increase when things come back on line, it’s simple statistics. However the data put in the appropriate manner tells us that a controlled restart is now safer than expected. Not fool proof, but much safer.

We plan to bring a few salary members in during May 4 week. Week of May 11 we will begin first shift operations. Week of May 18 we plan to bring all shifts back on line. This of course is based on our current customer demand, which could change.

We will work with EAMC and their affiliates to optimize our screening process with oversight from their healthcare professionals.

We are committed to do everything in our control to keep you and your families safe.

So, stay safe at home, if you must leave take the appropriate precautions. Hopefully we will all be back in somewhat of a normal mode over the course of May.

See You Soon,

Kelly
4/29/2020

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Information for RAPA Associates Impacted by the COVID-19 Virus Furlough

Due to customer orders being delayed, start of production will have to be delayed until mid-May based on customer demand.

Production and restart of the plant are delayed until further notice.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been fortunate to be able to pay all Associates for the time we have been closed. However, to keep the plant financially healthy for the long-term, we will not be able to continue with paid downtime.

Hourly Associates will be eligible to apply for unemployment for the down period.

You can apply online at www.labor.alabama.gov
or call 866-234-5382.

Medical, dental, vision and supplemental insurance will continue. 401k contributions and match will be suspended during the furlough.

Other helpful resources:

Workforce Action Center at 1500 Pumphrey Avenue in Auburn

Your HR Team:
Tim Beasley 334-332-0692 or tbeasley@rapa.com
Meg Smith 334-740-5978 or msmith@rapa.com

Please see the Q&A for more information.

RAPA Furlough Q&A

Q. Why are we having the furlough?

A. Our customers have delayed orders and we have met our safety
stock. Adding more inventory now will cause us to have to take
down time later.

Q. How do I apply for unemployment?

A. You can apply for unemployment benefits due to being furloughed
due to COVID-19.

You can apply online at www.labor.alabama.gov or call
866-234-5382.

A. Are there any other helpful resources available?

Q. The City of Auburn has opened the Workforce Action Center at
1500 Pumphrey Avenue in Auburn to assist employees of Auburn companies impacted by COVID-19. You can also get assistance by calling 334-501-7308.

Your HR Team is ready to assist:
Tim Beasley 334-332-0692 or tbeasley@rapa.com
Meg Smith 334-740-5978 or msmith@rapa.com

Q. Do I still have insurance and other benefits?

A. Yes, your medical, dental, vision and supplemental insurance
benefits will continue while you are on furlough. 401K contributions and match will be suspended for those on furlough.

Q. When will I be called back to work?

A. Our hope is to restart sometime mid-May based on customer
demand. We will communicate updates to you weekly.

Q. What if I decide not to return to work when called back?

A. We hope that you weather this storm and will be ready to return to
work. If you decide not to return to work please let Tim Beasley or
Meg Smith know. If you decide not to return, you will be considered voluntarily resigned and unemployment benefits will stop since work is available for you.

Q. How will I get updates on the status of RAPA and returning to
work?

A. Kelly will continue to send text updates each week on Wednesday
or Thursday.

For hourly associates going through the unemployment process, Friday, April 24 is the last paid day/day worked.

04/23/2020

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Hi All,

As you know things are changing daily. We had thought that next week would be our restart, but based on customer information received this morning, this will most likely change.

We are reviewing alternative schedules today and will forward you a revised plan by the end of (tomorrow) Thursday.

We are anxious to get things back to normal, we just aren’t sure what this normal looks like yet.

Thanks for your patience and stay safe.

Kelly
04/22/2020
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Hi RAPA Team,

I hope everyone is in good physical and mental health!

Our plan is the stay down next week (except a few folks) who will be contacted separately, and then reopen on Monday April 27th.

In order to keep everyone paid in full during the week of April 20th, we must forgo the Q1 bonus (Trust me, this works in your favor). All will be paid and have their benefits covered just like normal.

As I mentioned before, at moment we plan on full restart on Monday April 27th. Your Supervisor or Department Manager will be in touch with you to develop the specific plan.

Anyone who is not feeling well should stay home. Anyone concerned about a preexisting health condition, or who are living with someone with a high risk condition should reach out to HR and make a determination regarding their return to work.

Other than that, we hope to see everyone soon. In the meantime be safe, be patient and we will begin to define our “new normal”

Thank you,

Kelly
04/15/2020

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I hope this note finds everyone both physically and mentally healthy.

As I’m sure you are aware, the Governor has placed strict guidelines on coming back to work. We have reviewed these guidelines and RAPA is well ahead of other companies in implementing these requirements.

Now we must look to our customers and determine when they will return to work and begin to take our product again.

Each customer is different, but in general most plan to restart the first week of May. That being the case, we would need to begin our production ahead of theirs, so at the moment we plan for a full return April 27th.

The week before we may run a small single shift group to exercise the lines and build some additional safety stock.

Next week (April 13 week) we will remain down but continue to pay everyone as normal.

In the meantime, we all need to support the efforts to reduce passing this virus around. Stay home, stay sane and stay safe!

Regards,

J. Kelly Nelson
04/08/2020

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Dear RAPA Team,

We appreciate all the team members that came in to work this week and assisted with the recovery of safety stock. Because of your successful efforts we find ourselves in a positive position for when we can come back to the “new normal”.

To that end, I wanted to keep you informed of our business situation. Our customers continue to add to their shutdown days and likewise are postponing our shipments to them.

In order to try and stay in lockstep with the customer requirements, and adhering to the rules of local, state and federal authorities, we have decided to postpone production next week.

Simply said, the plant will be closed next week. Your pay, insurance and 401k co-payments will continue as normal.

We will look at our ability to continue this approach on a week-by-week basis. We plan to communicate the next week’s plan by Wednesday of each week.

Of course the model of being paid without work can’t go on forever, but we will do everything in our power to make the impact on you and your families as minimal as possible.

Please bare with us in these unprecedented times. There’s no playbook for a pandemic.

Stay safe, support one another and soon we will all be back together again.

God Bless!

Kelly
04/02/2020
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03/31/2020
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To access our Facebook page, click on the following link: https://www.facebook.com/RAPALPUSA/
03/30/2020
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Employee rights: paid sick leave and expanded Family and Medical Leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

FFCRA_Poster_WH1422
03/30/2020
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Hey Team, happy weekend!

We just wanted to reach out and let you know that the plant will be professionally cleaned and sanitized this coming week before production resumes.

Now more than ever your safety and health is our top priority. Safety first is not just a motto, it’s a culture. As such, we all play a role in keeping each other safe and healthy. Please do not come to work if you or anyone in your family are feeling ill.

We will implement the state required screening process prior to starting the next shift. Please be patient with us as we attempt to optimize this new requirement. It will not be perfect in the beginning for sure! Your Continuous Improvement thoughts are welcome.

Be safe, stay healthy and breathe, we will navigate this successfully if we all do our part.

Thanks,

Kelly
03/28/2020
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RAPA Team,

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama is providing members important updates and resources with their Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update Center located at https://www.bcbsal.org/web/coronavirus .

Follow the link to access:
• Member Resources
• Tips and Advice
• FAQ’s
• News and Updates
• Telehealth Options Effective 03/16/2020
• Testing Information
• Crisis Line
• And More

03/27/2020
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We hope you and your families are doing well and you continue to follow safe hygiene practices and  staying at home, to help minimize your risk of virus exposure. If you or a family member are sick please call 334-528- SICK for assistance.

The RAPA leadership team continues to monitor the Federal, State and local virus situation and our customers’ requirements in order to keep you and our business healthy.  We have a daily conference call to update the plans for now and the future.

The plan is to start limited production Wed, April 1 with a small staff to meet the state guideline to stay below 25 people in a location.  You will be contacted if you are scheduled to work. This is subject to change at any time based on updates from local medical/government officials and our customers. The entire plant is tentatively scheduled to start again on Mon, April 6th. 

Before you return to the plant there will be a thorough cleaning of the facility.

Before entering the plant, All Associates will have temperatures taken and be asked a series of questions provided to us by EAMC officials to determine your risk status.

Cafeteria food service be restarted 4/6. Those designated to work 4/1-3 should plan to bring their own lunch.  Also, Associates will be allowed and encouraged to eat in your cars to allow for the 6’ spacing.

Those who are 55 or older, at risk due to pre-existing medical conditions, or those living with someone 55 or older and at risk, will not be allowed back in the plant until further notice.  If you are taking care of  sick, elderly or at-risk family members calling the plant call in line to let us know.

Salary staff, except those designated to be at the plant for production, will continue to work from home and with a tentative plan to return Monday, April 6.

In these unique days, plans could change at any time based on Federal, State or Local Government directives.  But minus new directives this is our current plan.

Updates will be sent by text message blast and posted on the RAPA LP Facebook page.

Everyone Be Safe and hope to see you soon! 

Kelly Nelson
03/26/2020