University of Nebraska Business Student Helps Nebraska Get Back to Work; Student promotes company’s PPE product line to help businesses create safe environments

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Getting people back to work safely during the COVID-19 pandemic was a message that wasn’t lost on Mike Addante, a University of Nebraska business student. As someone studying this topic and noticing the pleas from Cornhusker businesses, he wanted to do something to help owners and employees go back in a safe way and had a ready resource from his home in Elgin, Illinois.

Mike Addante promotes Rieke Office Interiors' SafeSpace™ product line to Lincoln, Nebraska businesses to help them create safe working environments.

"Businesses are looking for ways to help keep their employees safe, and SafeSpace™ products do just that. My goal is to get the word out, so Nebraska businesses are aware that these products exist."

Getting people back to work safely during the COVID-19 pandemic was a message that wasn’t lost on Mike Addante, a University of Nebraska business student.

As someone studying this topic and noticing the pleas from Cornhusker businesses, he wanted to do something to help owners and employees go back in a safe way and had a ready resource from his home in Elgin, Illinois.

Addante immediately reached out to his friends and family who work for Rieke Office Interiors (ROI), an Elgin-based office furniture manufacturer that had recently developed its new PPE SafeSpace™ product line as a response to COVID-19. The inspiration for this line came from the face shields doctors wear to protect themselves from all germs, particularly the COVID-19 virus particles. In only four weeks the company has sold thousands of these shields, largely in and around Illinois, helping businesses reopen and creating safe environments for employees.

ROI’s SafeSpace™ offers The SafeShield Rx portable protective shield, the SafeTrans Rx portable protective shield with transaction slot, and the SafePanel Rx portable workstation extenders that can be used in office settings. To help owners of gyms, restaurants and bars, beauty salons and other places, ROI added its new SafeDivide unit that comes in a variety of sizes but can be as large as eight feet high and four feet wide. The company also has designed Panel Risers that can extend the height of workstation panels and work on any cubicle system.

“To me, the SafeSpace™ products are something every business should have to protect their employees,” Addante said. “So, I reached out to ROI and asked if I could help businesses in Nebraska bring their employees back to work safely, and they were very supportive. Businesses are looking for ways to help keep their employees safe, and SafeSpace™ products do just that. My goal is to get the word out, so Nebraska businesses are aware that these products exist.”

Addante was so impressed how ROI’s items are helping companies that he wanted to aid those affected by COVID-19. He is also donating 10% of his pay from selling these items to the Lincoln Covid-19 Response. This fund has been established by the City of Lincoln, businesses, and philanthropic partners to give resources to the city’s nonprofits working with communities affected by COVID-19.

“In my way, I want to help my community’s small business owners get back on their feet and residents who are suffering economic and emotional distress from this pandemic.” he said.

For more information about the Lincoln Covid-19 Response, visit https://www.lcf.org/covid19.

For more information, contact their sales team through https://rieke.com/safespace-rx/.

About Rieke Office Interiors
Rieke Office Interiors (ROI) has an impressive, state-of-the-art, 150,000 square foot, office furniture manufacturing facility in Elgin, Illinois. As a certified WBE business in its 27th year, ROI provides innovative products and services that are fully customizable, a unique capability that isn’t found anywhere else in the office interior industry. This flexibility allows ROI to create a big impact for any budget, streamlining the project process to make each vision come to life. For more information, visit Rieke.com. ###

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Marie Lazzara
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