Calhoun, Ga.— As many states began to advance their vaccine availability this month, Mohawk Industries leadership said it immediately got to work to identify how the company could connect employees to these resources.
In Northwest Georgia, where the majority of the flooring manufacturer’s Flooring North America segment’s workforce is based, Mohawk has been able to partner directly with state and local government and public health officials to organize on-site vaccination events. In just over a week, Mohawk said it has vaccinated more than 1,200 team members and has more than 2,000 already registered, with additional events planned in the coming days.
“This is the kind of thing that really shows you what’s important to a company and its culture,” said Rod Wedemeier, senior vice president, human resources. “I’m very proud of the impact this will have at Mohawk and in the community where we’re collectively making it safer to live and work.”
Various community partners like the Latin American Association and the City of Dalton have been an important part of these efforts. “City council member, Annalee Harlan, has been a driving force and has personally been at every Mohawk event to make this vision a reality,” said Wedemeier. “They have put forth an incredible effort to serve Mohawk and the entire flooring industry here.”
In addition to these partners, task force and site jump teams made up of various Mohawk team members have developed a process for these onsite events to ensure that every Mohawk employee in Northwest Georgia who wants to be vaccinated will have the opportunity to do so in the coming weeks.
Mohawk Flooring North America president, Paul De Cock, received his first COVID-19 vaccine dose at a recent event at the Industrial Park facility. “There was a lot of positivity and optimism as people passed through the process,” De Cock said. “It was extremely well organized, and everyone involved was clearly proud of the work they were doing to make this happen for our people. This is a great example of how we’re doing more with Mohawk—this is caring more with Mohawk.”
Leading the on-site coordination, Micah Riggle, senior director of HR supply chain, also said the experience has been humbling. “The way people have come together here and in our community leadership to do whatever is needed to get vaccines to our employees in a convenient, safe way has been incredible,” Riggle said. “We had one gentleman who asked if he could film himself getting the vaccine so that he could send it to his daughter, to let her know he was going to be protected so they could celebrate. Getting to be a part of that, and having Mohawk’s full support and commitment behind us, really renews your pride in what you do and who you work for.”
Another employee, Holly Anne DiDia, whose 2020 law school graduation, wedding and honeymoon plans were all interrupted by the pandemic, shared her appreciation at the Calhoun office campus event. “I was surprised by how emotional I felt as I got the vaccine,” DiDia said. “In the waiting area afterward, I took a moment to think back on how COVID-19 has impacted me, and all of us, over the past year, and that reflection led me to feel hopeful and grateful that we might be finally turning a corner by getting people vaccinated.”
Wedemeier added, “We’re proud to be a part of this community, and we’re proud to do what it takes to make it safer, for all of us.”