Community leaders launch Katy Returns to Work Task Force

Community leaders launch Katy Returns to Work Task Force Main Photo

13 May 2020

By: Jen Para - Community Impact

To help local businesses navigate the complexities of reopening their stores, offices, plants and clinics during the coronavirus pandemic, several Katy-area community leaders have started a new program.

The Katy Returns to Work Task Force launched May 8, according to a press release from the Katy Area Chamber of Commerce. Jeanette Winters of Parrish Partners Leadership is spearheading the program as its chair and facilitator.

The task force will support local businesses with resources to help them follow the reopening guidelines directed by local, state and federal COVID-19 regulations to help prevent a second wave of the coronavirus and reduce economic hardship, Winters said in an email interview.

Katy Returns to Work Task Force is led by seven representatives from the local business, health care and nonprofit communities: Caroline Champion with Houston Methodist West Hospital; Rick Ellis and Matthew Ferraro with the Katy Area Chamber; Lara Hamilton with Christ Clinic; Don McCoy with the Fulshear-Katy Area Chamber; Angie Thomason with the Katy Area Economic Development Council; and Winters.

“If I were to distill our objective to one phrase, it would be 'reliable information dissemination,'” Winters said. “We want people to have reliable information on returning to work responsibly with the health and safety top of mind for those around us.”

In particular, the program has focused on four key areas: reopening strategies, finding financial resources, supporting health and protecting people individually and across entire organizations, according to the task force's website and to Winters.

The program has collected industry-specific materials for business owners and employees to check out, Winters said. The task force plans to host free informational sessions on topics, such as crisis management planning and communication.

According to the task force’s website, it will also monitor real-time data on the local medical system capacity and try to identify hot spots of the coronavirus.

Winters encouraged businesses to sign the task force's Work Safe Company Pledge, which comes with a tool kit that includes a badge and 15 principles to follow.

“We need to get individuals back to work, we need companies generating revenue, and we need to rebound to some sort of 'normalcy,'" Winters said. “But it’s got to be done safely so we don’t see another spike in COVID-19 cases."

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