“Early on, we really just made the decision to trust our people, trust our culture and we did a lot of things to try to maximize safety.” – Jim Kerlin | President & CEO | Beyond Vision

In this episode of “Wisconsin Made. The Podcast.” we highlight Beyond Vision out of Milwaukee who is a non-for-profit company with the mission to enrich the lives of people who are blind through the dignity of work. They offer manufacturing, fulfillment, assembly, packaging and customer care services employees to customers including Harley-Davidson, Caterpillar and Oshkosh Defense. During this episode, we gain insights on how Beyond vision provided additional way-finding tools to allow employees with vision loss to safely navigate and social distance. Plus, we learn about how their strong culture helped them through the pandemic.

Our guest joining us in this episode is Jim Kerlin, President & CEO of Beyond Vision who has a strong manufacturing, business and engineering background. He is the inventor and co-inventor of twelve patents, with several additional pending. Join us in this episode to understand how Jim has used his leadership skills to keep his employees and community safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. Plus, he speaks about the opportunities available in Wisconsin for those who are visual impaired.

In this episode we answer:

  • Tell us a little bit about Beyond Vision and what 2020 was like for you? (1:50)
  • What are some of the big things that you had to do early on in the pandemic to really respond and keep your employees safe? (3:35)
  • Can you talk a little bit about your new emergency sick time off program? (8:10)
  • What is the outlook for Beyond Vision in 2021? Where do you see the company going and what challenges do you see happening the rest of this year? (11:00)
  • Where do you see manufacturing in Wisconsin going beyond 2021? Do you think it’s on the upswing that it’s going to continue to have a bright future? (14:00)
  • What would your message be to your employees for the way they responded over the past year? (18:15)

Next week, we will be joined by Ricardo Abud, President of CMD Corporation out of Appleton. We will learn more about the innovative changes they made within their manufacturing processes, how they were able to continue to communicate and work with their customers as travel restrictions were in place and how they were able to achieve business growth in 2020 despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Plus, we will talk a little bit about what the future holds for CMD Corporation and manufacturing in Wisconsin post-pandemic.

If you found value in this episode or want to hear the stories from Wisconsin manufacturers, please hit that subscribe button and share it with your peers. We really want to showcase all the good news stories of how manufacturing was critical in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Wisconsin Made. The Podcast.” is brought to you by Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year, a premier annual awards program celebrating excellence in manufacturing in the state of Wisconsin. Thank you to our program sponsors Baker TillyMichael Best and Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC).

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