But while most employees had the benefit of working remotely, some coworkers’ jobs require in-person performance. Many of these colleagues and offices have already been recognized in this space.
The front desk service, which is part of the mailroom services, also served as essential staff throughout the pandemic and we wanted to thank them as well. Throughout the many months from March 2020 to June 2021, the delivery team remained on site from their office near the loading dock, picking up and delivering packages or being available for package pickup.
“On March 17, 2020, the College closed and shortly thereafter we were informed that we had to return to work on March 23,” said Edwin Rios, director of the office. “Human Resources sent each of us an email with a letter stating that we were officially designated ‘essential staff’.”
Without missing a beat, the dedicated team of four got back to work on site. Asked about the team’s morale during the period, Rios said they had maintained their commitment.
“My team and I have maintained a positive attitude given the severe circumstances of the pandemic,” said Rios. “We have started to follow the recommendations set out by the CDC, New York State and CUNY.”
When asked how the rest of the onsite services made it easier for his team to be on campus, Rios praised his colleagues.
“Public Safety monitors all incoming employees, students and contractors with temperature checks and confirmation of Everbridge application results,” he explained. “Buildings and grounds (B&G) / day care services continually clean and disinfect bathrooms and other commonly used areas of the college. “
Rios says that while they continue to do their jobs like nothing has happened, they are missing the “normal campus-wide flow of business” and a more direct method of delivering packages. The team has also taken on additional responsibilities since the pandemic and even more, after York became a vaccination site.
“Last year, we helped deliver essential COVID-19 testing supplies to One Medical in the main parking lot,” Rios said. “To ensure the safety of employees and students, York has ordered a large quantity of PPE supplies. My team took on this responsibility by accepting deliveries, counting and sorting each box and product received, as well as distributing PPE to departments according to a spreadsheet created by Sales Manager Suzette Foster-Jemmott.
He added that after FEMA configured the HPE building as a major NYS vaccination site, we coordinated with Public Safety to help deliver the first boxes of Pfizer vaccine to them. Subsequently, we coordinated by delivering the necessary supplies to FEMA and accepted the empty vaccine boxes for return to the manufacturer.
My team members work tirelessly and have taken on additional responsibilities understanding that what they are doing is for the greater good. I also have to thank her supervisor Marjorie Brun, who really appreciates the work we do day in and day out. His support has lifted our spirits during these difficult times.
Henry Leung, one of the department’s best-known colleagues, says he’s honored to do what he’s doing for York.
“While the rest of the employees were working from home, I knew it was time to step up and get the job done,” says Leung. “In fact, it was easier for me to navigate the buildings because some departments have to schedule pickups according to our condensed work schedule. In many cases, however, we work hard to deliver packages to departments that require same day service. “I am proud of what I did for York College during the pandemic. I will continue to be part of our future as an academic institution.
The other important members of the team are Melissa Ramdin and Richard Heaton.