Meet the Target Teams Helping Minnesota Communities Stay Safe and Get Back to Business

  • May 6, 2020

The Target team is stepping up to help families everywhere, supporting coronavirus response and recovery efforts. In our home state of Minnesota and across the country, we’re continuing our long history of providing care and resources in neighborhoods where our team and guests live and work.

We’re proud to employ a team with a wide range of experience across retail and distribution—and when communities need our help, we answer the call. Read on for a few important ways our longstanding partnerships are helping to make a difference.

Developing resources to help businesses reopen

As businesses across Minnesota begin to plan for a safe reopening, Target created a package of helpful operational resources for them to use. It’s called the SAFE Retail toolkit (download in English and Spanish), and includes templates and guides for employee health screening, benefits examples and cleaning protocols, as well as social distancing and safe employee measures. Our teams created the materials using learnings and insights from Target’s own pandemic response efforts. Now, we’re working with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, along with Minnesota business associations and other elected leaders, to share the toolkit with businesses across the state.  

Another important factor in a safe reopening plan is the ability to monitor health across the workforce. So when state leaders asked for help creating a resource, our technology experts developed a digital healthcare screening tool that Minnesota businesses can use to track the health of their workforce and identify trends over time.

To connect communities with affordable supplies to keep their employees healthy and safe, we tapped Target’s supplier network to source infrared thermometers for the state to provide businesses and nonprofits at wholesale cost. That’s in addition to a number of healthcare resources we’ve sourced for use across the state, and the thousands of masks and gloves we donated to healthcare workers (more on that below). It’s all with a goal of promoting a safe recovery for all Minnesotans.

“Target plays many roles in our communities, including retailer, distribution network and employer,” says Tony Heredia, Target’s vice president of compliance & ethics and corporate security. “We believe sharing our expertise with policymakers and elected officials is an important part of being a strong business leader. By sharing our learnings, we hope to support other businesses, communities and leaders so they can operate in a safe way, considering the health and wellbeing of employees, customers and communities alike.”

Managing a pipeline of healthcare supplies

Back in March, as demand quickly grew for personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers, Minnesota officials needed to move large shipments of gowns, shields and N95 face masks to hospitals throughout the state. But it would require the setup of special warehouses and inventory management systems to efficiently deliver the right numbers of supplies to the right destinations. That’s where Target’s team of experts came in.

Members of our supply chain and technology teams spent weeks working with officials to set up a statewide PPE inventory management system. Using the expertise from their day jobs, they were able to provide guidance on processing product, keeping track of inventory, storing supplies and sending it as efficiently as possible. They also helped set up the technical support to tie it all together. The key to the partnership? Strong relationships between Target and the state.

“At times like these, it’s critical for Target to help out in our communities. With our expertise in building distribution centers and inventory management, we were able jump in quickly and help when the call came from our home state,” says Kraig Narr, vice president of engineering, who was part of the team that provided help to the state.

“In this incredible time of need, Target stepped in with the best talent they had to offer,” says Pete Bernardy, enterprise director, State of Minnesota. “Their efforts will help provide critically needed support to healthcare workers across the state, and they make me proud to be a Minnesotan. Thank you, Target!”

And that’s only the beginning. From providing critical support to guests in stores to lending their skills to communities in need, our talented team is staying true to Target’s purpose of helping all families. Read more about how we’re taking care of our team and guests during the coronavirus pandemic on our coronavirus information hub.

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