After an-eight-plus-week shutdown in keeping with Michigan’s COVID-19 pandemic mandates, Sunsation Boats restarted production today at its Algonac facility. According to co-owner Joe Schaldenbrand, all 30 of the company’s employees returned to work this morning.
“We didn’t lose anybody—100 percent of our workers came back,” he said. “We kept everybody on payroll all the way through. I was here every day, much of time with (fellow Sunsation company owner) Kyle Miller, controller Len Solecki and a few other folks who popped in and out, and the sales calls actually increased. The phone has been blowing up with sales and leads. So has the website.”
Sunsation workers returned today to continue building the company’s successful CCX center console models. Photo by Pete Boden from the Florida Powerboat Club 2020 Key West Poker Run copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix/speedonthewater.com.
Before the shutdown, Schaldenbrand began stocking up on Mercury Racing outboard engines, Garmin GPS units, SeaDek flooring and more in anticipation of having to restart quickly once Sunsation was allowed to open its doors.
“With all we have in here that we need to finish boats, I think we are going to end up building even more efficiently than we already were,” he said. “It’s very important for us to keep production flow going and continue to get boats out there. And everybody here is on board with that.”
Schaldenbrand paused, then chuckled.
“Who would have ever thought your employees would look forward to coming back to work?” he said.
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