ST. GEORGE — Czarnowski in St. George had to furlough almost all of their employees as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. But when the company was contracted to build makeshift hospital rooms for New York, the St. George location went back to work.
They worked 12 hour days over the last week and put out nine semi truckloads with each holding 40 hospital rooms.
Their final shipment was sent out on Thursday afternoon.
“We furloughed around 80 employees at our facility, and the last seven days we’ve been working on this we’ve brought back around 40,” Czarnowski St. George Operations Manager Will Camp said. “We just finished with New York and we are bidding a lot of other states to do this at, but at this point, none of them have sold.”
In that week, the St. Geroge location built around 80 temporary hospital rooms a day. The rooms are packed in groupings of eight with five groupings loaded onto semitrucks for shipment. When the shipments arrive in New York, the eight-room groupings can be placed where needed and set up in about two hours.
The workers at Czarnowski put a sign on the back of each grouping that said, “our hearts and prayers are with you.” The worker then signed the shipments along with a note that the rooms were made in St. George.
Czarnowski was contracted to build 1,000 rooms for New York, which they split between their Denver, Atlanta and St. George shops. The company finished all the rooms in a week.
“The guys were great,” Camp said. “When we called them back, we had a couple guys offer to do it for free. Most of the employees took it as helping the country out, a really positive thing. We didn’t have anyone work for free, but the employees really did chip in and give it the extra effort.”
Czarnowski also implemented more safety procedures to make sure their employees stayed healthy while not spreading it onto the rooms being built. There was only one point of entry to their facility and they sanitized the workspace every two hours while employees wore masks.
“It’s been terrific,” Camp said of the response to their work. “I’ve been all of the national calls with the other shops and all of us feel the same way. It’s nice because our industry just collapsed basically. Every convention canceled and everything we were building, clients put it on hold. It was nice to be able to come back, help the country, help the guys, help the company and as a team, be able to go from three employees to 40 in a day.”
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