Linamar is a Guelph-based global manufacturer of auto parts and industrial machinery with divisions in Canada, the United States, Europe and China. With news of how the pandemic was rapidly spreading in Europe, Linamar was quick to retool and look for ways to help hospitals and food banks around the world. Through their transportation divisions, supply chain networks and onsite supplies of PPE, they reached out to support frontline workers, vulnerable people needing access to food, in addition to manufacturing ventilators locally.
“Like so many companies out there, we are trying to do whatever we can to help our local communities.”
At home with her four children, Katie Newton ‘14, Emily Newton ‘15, Tommy Newton ‘16 and Olivia Newton ’18, Linamar CEO and past SJK parent Linda Hasenfratz can see firsthand how the delivery of education had to pivot. ”It’s been very tough for the universities and schools. I think that they’ve managed it extremely well, moving quickly to remote learning.”
But for those in their graduating year, like her second oldest child, daughter Emily, “it’s tough because all those graduation, end of university experiences, and trips, and all the things that the students like to do at graduation are all on hold.”
As for her employees, “I think that the ventilator project and some of the community work that we’re doing have been incredible morale boosters for our people.”
“In a time when things are tough, we’ve got something positive to focus on and do, and that makes everybody feel really good. You’ve got to focus on those positives, and keep morale strong, and know that we’re going to get through this. There’s going to be something on the other side, we’re going to learn from it, we’re going to be stronger from it.”
Linamar’s capabilities are helping other Ontario-based manufacturers scale from 50 ventilators produced per month up to 500 units
produced per month, which is no small feat and has supported Ontario’s fight against COVID-19. Premier Doug Ford noted Linamar’s nimble ability to retool its assembly line with great appreciation.
The former SJK parent noted, “We are humbled by Premier Ford’s kind remarks about Linamar’s capabilities and proud to be a part of the team to help supply these critical needs.”