Daktronics of Brookings, S.D. has suspended production in Redwood Falls for the two-week time frame of Governor Tim Walz’s executive stay-at-home order.

Although the Redwood Falls factory is exempt from the order, the factory leadership felt they could accommodate the two-week order for the better good of the community and still meet customer expectations as the production was ahead of schedule and within customer lead times. 

“Daktronics’ priorities during this dynamic COVID-19 time are to keep our people safe and to operate our business globally,” said Reece Kurtenbach, Daktronics CEO and president. “In addition to the production schedule in our Redwood Falls factory, we considered our employees’ situations and what makes the most sense for our teams during this two-week period.” 

Daktronics is continuing all benefits during this time. Employees have the option to use paid time off, or the company will help employees access Minnesota’s unemployment benefits during the temporary closure. A few people will work during this time to receive and ship material, support the company’s other factories and enable the Redwood Falls factory to successfully hit the ground running when it reopens. With global headquarters located in Brookings, the company’s Redwood Falls facility employs approximately 175 people.

Health and safety a priority

Daktronics has mobilized a Global COVID-19 response team and has implemented a robust plan to maximize health and safety while maintaining production and services capabilities. 

These plans are consistent with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization recommendations. The company is also working closely with the National Association of Manufacturers and its guidance and direction to ensure worker safety.  

Employees working in our factories and buildings:

• As it is essential for them to be on the premises to do their work, we have implemented zones, with a small number of people per zone and rigorously restricted movement between zones to minimize in-person contact. This includes parking areas, entrances, break areas and restrooms.

• We have implemented additional cleaning and hygiene safeguards following CDC guidelines. We are prepared for rapid response and are deep cleaning zones frequently so people can continue to work.

• We have contingency plans for cleaning and work stoppage within zones if an employee tests positive for COVID-19.

• Hand washing stations are located throughout our campus and disinfectants in break areas.

• We are not accepting visitors.

To help reduce the spread of COVID-19, Daktronics has also provided COVID-19 related content for free to assist customers in communicating important, timely information on their displays. This content has been downloaded thousands of times in recent days.

With these steps, the company is proactively taking action to reduce the risk of COVID-19 exposure to all the people in its facilities.  

“This is a challenging time, impacting each of us in different ways. I appreciate our Redwood Falls team’s thoughtful and positive approach to this situation. And I thank everyone for working together to be safe and operate our business in ways that enable us to move through this time of crisis together and come out as a stronger and even more competitive organization,” said Kurtenbach. ​​​​​​​ 

- Submitted photo