Hoping to encourage staff and the public to get vaccinated against COVID-19, administrators at Casella Waste Systems are telling the community who “Got the Shot.”
In a prepared statement announcing the awareness campaign, John W. Casella, chairman and CEO of the company, said the front-line employees at Casella were considered “essential personnel” and have continued working during the pandemic.
“This campaign is designed to call attention to our employees who have been vaccinated, put the public at ease knowing that they are interacting with someone who has been vaccinated, and also raise awareness that the vaccine is safe and important for all of us as we seek a return to normalcy,” Casella said.
As part of “Got the Shot,” employees who have been fully vaccinated can wear a hat with the logo while working. A special photo frame that can be used for social media postings has been created, and there are posters to support “Got the Shot.”
Lindsay Kurrie, secretary of the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development, expressed appreciation for the campaign in a statement.
“It is great to hear of businesses working to further the education and availability of the vaccine to their employees and the public. The sooner people are vaccinated, the sooner our economy can get fully back on line and our vibrant communities can return to a pre-pandemic way of life,” Kurrie said.
Jeff Weld, director of community engagement for Casella, said in an email exchange the company has encouraged its staff to get vaccinated when they are eligible and are also providing hourly employees with 4 hours of additional pay when they are vaccinated.
Weld said Casella was a natural fit with a campaign encouraging public health.
“I think by virtue of our visibility in the community and the reality of our day-to-day work, we are generally in the public heath and public awareness business every day. Without our work, public health will fail, and I think we’ve always been doing that work without necessarily formalizing a public awareness campaign around it other than the visibility of our work. This was an opportunity to formalize that responsibility publicly and help our communities achieve normalcy through our visibility through an organized campaign,” he said.
Casella said the company employees are being encouraged to be part of “Got the Shot” by being vaccinated and spreading the word about the importance of the COVID vaccines.
“We take our commitment to helping our communities thrive very seriously, and if seeing our people publicly make a statement that they have been vaccinated helps one community reach normalcy a little quicker, or encourages one other person to get vaccinated, it will have been worth it,” he said.
Casella has more than 2,500 employees and about 180 have reported being vaccinated.
Weld said all of the employees, front line or office staff, are encouraged to participate.
“We all have the ability to impact and influence different groups and we’ve already seen a wide adoption from a broad cross-section of individuals company-wide,” he said.
The website casella.com/got-the-shot has more information about the campaign.