Luke Haven – From running business during the pandemic to potential growth, Campis Damaghi, Senior Executive Director of Quality, addressed a myriad of topics during a meeting with the Clinton County Economic Partnership.
Al-Damaghi was the keynote speaker during the meeting, which took place via Zoom on Monday afternoon. He touched on the possibility of expansion, saying that adding a fourth machine wasn’t in the cards — at least not yet.
“It was the fourth Lock Haven machine on our radar…Producing the kind of product we make at Lock Haven requires a great deal of infrastructure,” Brain said. One could look at 400 acres and say, “We have a lot of land.” But, take my word for it, even in terms of where to put the machine, we’re almost trapped.”
He said space is just one of the many obstacles First Quality faces if it wants to grow.
“There are a number of challenges out there, including, but not limited to, meeting with the Army Corps of Engineers to get their permission… It’s not as easy as it might seem. We’re working on it to see if it makes sense to be You have a fourth machine there. If there’s any show, it’s these issues,” Brain said.
Earlier in the meeting, Al-Damaghi spoke about the COVID-19 pandemic for two years. He explained how First Quality was able to adjust, continue to manufacture, and keep its doors open.
“We started actually getting into our own ‘COVID mode’ back in February of 2020. By the second week of March we had started writing our own COVID Handbook. We were very impressed with how our team interacted and how our team interacted internally with the community as well as With our customers and the seller community…what they did and how they did it…simplify this huge phenomenon, this huge thing that happened simply, maintaining agility and doing it through teamwork” Brain said.
Damaghi did not underestimate COVID-19. In fact, he said that “Difficult” To do business.
“It was not easy, it was very difficult because we had to do it all remotely. Thanks to technology, it has enabled us to deal with this pandemic. The way we did it, we went to our roots and principles,” Brain said.
As a result of this pandemic, projects have been pushed back unless they are, Al-Maqari said “Necessary.”
He said First Quality has put two mandates in place: maintaining people’s safety and business continuity.
“At the time…there weren’t any standards or guidelines. Everyone, communities, individuals, families, healthcare, everyone was confused. They didn’t know what this was, how to deal with it. We took state and federal guidelines and implemented them to the best of our ability. what we can in our institution,” Brain said.
Like many companies, First Quality has made some employees work remotely. However, since it is a manufacturing company, having employees on site cannot be avoided.
Despite numerous safety precautions, El-Qarqi said some employees have contracted the deadly virus.
“Unfortunately, we also had losses within the First Quality community. The people who contracted the virus did not survive. But, at the end of the day, we lived our lives, mostly as everyone else did,” Brain said.
Also on the call were Keystone Central School District Principal Jacqueline Martin, and State Representative Stephanie Borovich (R-McElhattan). All of them spoke about the importance of First Quality in society. Clinton County commissioners were at a convention and were unable to attend.
The next meeting will be held in September. No date has been specified at this time.