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General Dynamics Runs Strong Through Pandemic, Donates to Community
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
05:34PM / Saturday, January 02, 2021
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More than three-quarters of the Pittsfield company's employees switched to remote working during the pandemic.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — One of Pittsfield's largest employers has been able to maintain successful operations and help its neighbors during the pandemic.
General Dynamics Mission Systems has given back to the community with donations, modified its workplace to prevent transmission of the virus, preserved their internship program, and were even able to expand in these unprecedented times.
"Despite the ongoing pandemic," Director of Strategic Communications Brenda L. Burdick said. "General Dynamics Mission Systems' Pittsfield team has adjusted their operations to ensure the safety of Pittsfield employees, their families, and the community while fulfilling our commitments to our vital U.S. and partner nation customers."
Since the pandemic began, the company has donated $194,000 to various food banks and other charities that support communities near their operating locations with more than $85,000 donated to organizations in and around Pittsfield.
General Dynamics have also supported medical facilities across several operating locations including Pittsfield, donating more than 57,000 pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves, gowns, and face coverings.  
About 1,250 of Pittsfield's 1,600 General Dynamics employees have been working from home since March. To ensure the safety of employees and their families, GD has shifted the majority of its more than 12,000 employee workforce to work from home.
Manufacturing or classified workspace employees who are not able to work from home are protected from the exposure of COVID-19 by procedures such as restructuring work schedules to reduce the number of employees in the workspace, requiring social distancing and mask-wearing in all GD facilities, restricting travel to only support mission-critical needs, and increased cleaning and sanitation in the workspace.
Burdick noted that despite the new regulations, GD has delivered products to their customers in the same timely fashion they did before the pandemic.
"Despite this major shift in how and where we operate, General Dynamics Mission Systems has maintained a nearly 100 percent on-time delivery rate," she said.  "Ensuring our customers receive the capabilities they need to accomplish their vital missions."  
General Dynamics was able to provide internships to 50 Pittsfield professionals by preserving the annual internship program with adjustments made for it to be COVID-19 safe. Interns involved in non-manufacturing processes were provided equipment to work from home and a curriculum was established to ensure that interns have critical interactions with fellow interns and mentors in their programs.
"General Dynamics Mission Systems' internship program is a critical component to recruiting highly sought-after, specialized engineers," Burdick said.
GD's Pittsfield team also opened a new 8,400 square-foot state-of-the-art manufacturing space for building the middle fire control system for the nation's new Columbia class and the United Kingdom's Dreadnaught class submarine fleet. The new addition will support about 40 production and test personnel into the next decade, as the program's production phase will go through the early 2030s.
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