It's been 19 months since the term "essential" entered our business vocabulary. When "shelter-in-place" ordinances were enforced, state and local governments had to determine which businesses were essential to ensuring that our basic needs were met and needed to remain open. Businesses related to food health care, safety and defense supply were easy to identify, however when the government began to unpack the manufacturing sector, it was difficult, almost impossible, to determine which sub-sectors were not essential. The CDC and, shortly thereafter, Governor DeSantis, deemed all manufacturing essential.
The manufacturing sector continued to operate throughout the crisis and often pivoted to produce products and component parts necessary to overcome shortages in our national stockpiles and critical supplies that we've come to rely upon other nations to produce for the United States — mainstays of safety, health, and welfare. Throughout this crisis, manufacturers and their employees emerged as "heroes."