WAUSAU — Twenty-five Wisconsin companies were recently recognized as 2020 Manufacturer of the Year Honorees by Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce. In a testament to the strength of the manufacturing industry in central Wisconsin, three of these honorees are members of the Greater Wausau Chamber of Commerce.

This year’s honorees were chosen in recognition of the manufacturer’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bassett Mechanical, with offices in Wausau and headquartered in Kaukauna, provided nearly 18,000 nose clips for facemasks, cut from sheets of aluminum. The business also donated $25,000 to a non-profit which assists individuals during a financial crisis. The company also installed Needlepoint Bipolar Ionization Units to improve air quality at facilities and manufactured HVAC and plumbing solutions for emergency deployable medical units for hospital overflow.

“We thank WMC, Baker Tilly and Michael Best for the opportunity to be named one of 2020’s Manufacturer of the Year Honorees.” said Kim Bassett, President and CEO of Bassett Mechanical. “We are grateful to be an essential business during these challenging times. Thank you to our loyal associates for shifting and adjusting to meet the needs of our customers and for sharing our commitment to making an impact in our community. Together we are glad to do our part to help support local organizations and frontline efforts.”

Greenheck in Schofield formed a COVID-19 Response Team to develop policies and lead communications at the business. Additionally, an Emergency Absence System was created to support team members in dealing with illness, contact tracing and childcare. The company also raised more than $30,000 for their Hunger Awareness Campaign.

“At Greenheck Group, we are truly grateful to our team members for the contributions they have made to make the workplace safer while taking care of our customers.” said Carrie Strobel, Vice President of Human Resources with the Greenheck Group. “We tackled really tough challenges this past year, but have remained true to our values and came through a stronger team, all while continuing to provide indoor air quality products that are essential for our communities.”

Linetec in Wausau deployed a secure remote network for office employees to be able to work from home within two weeks of the state implementing an emergency order. The company also implemented safety protocols and the use of PPE long before the state’s mask mandate went into effect. Linetec also enhanced their existing HVAC systems with ultraviolet lights to mitigate the virus and improve air quality.

“Linetec has always considered the health and safety of our associates our number one priority.” said Jon Close, President of Linetec. “COVID-19 presented a new set of challenges that required unimaginable process and procedure changes, increased safety protocols and a mobilized work-from-home structure. The recognition from the Wisconsin Manufacturers Commerce is a great honor and tells us we got it right.”

In a traditional year, the Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year Awards would be announced at an evening reception at The Pfister Hotel in downtown Milwaukee. Last  year, three Chamber members were recognized at the event with Gamber-Johnson LLC recognized in the Medium Category, Nueske’s Applewood Smoked Meats in the Large Category and Greenheck in the Mega Category.

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