The pandemic created unprecedented challenges over the past year, and Governor Tom Wolf is honoring state employees who went above and beyond this year with Governor’s Awards for Excellence. The governor is recognizing three Department of Corrections employees from PA Correctional Industries (PCI) for group actions that went above and beyond their daily workload to assist with combatting COVID-19.
Correctional Industries Managers Gerald Arasin, Craig Northrop and William York ensured that PCI was successful with its task to help make the state safe by manufacturing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
“The commonwealth is very fortunate to have employees of this caliber working hard in this fight against COVID-19,” said Gov. Wolf. “Their attention to detail and taking serious responsibility of the task presented to them makes it easy to honor them and the work they have done.”
The DOC’s manufacturing of masks, gowns, cleaning supplies and other PPE has helped make it possible for the state and local governments to continue their operations without consuming the public’s resources.
In addition, their coordination with the PA Emergency Management Agency as well as other state and local government agencies contributed to the successful distribution of all PPE, permitting operations to continue with minimal disruption and cost to taxpayers. Their team approach and coordination permitted the ability to determine which PCI shops would make specific PPE, such as masks, gowns, and cleaning supplies, on top of their normal everyday duties.
Manufactured to date is more than 780,000 white masks, 41,950 black masks (for DOC staff), 28,000 white gowns, 3,285,100 bars of antibacterial soap, 1,798 cases of PDC-45 disinfectant, and 3,882 cases of EnvirX hard surface disinfectant.
During the early phase of the pandemic, PPE was the number one focus for all of PCI. These managers were tasked with specific duties related to garment, print, laundry, and commissary, thus requiring significant changes to accommodate the PPE requirements set forth by the Governor’s Office.
The Governor’s Awards for Excellence recognize commonwealth employees for exemplary job performance or service that reflects initiative, leadership, innovation and increased efficiency. The three DOC employees are among 51 employees from 10 agencies who earned a Governor’s Awards for Excellence. A virtual awards ceremony will be held on May 5.
Gerald Arasin of Pottstown, Montgomery County, began his career with the Department of Corrections at SCI Graterford in1985 as a Textile Mill Foreman. He was promoted in 1989 as a Textile Mill Supervisor and promoted again in 1990 as a Correctional Industries Manager. He was promoted again in 1997 and is currently a Correctional Industries Manager 2 at SCI Phoenix.
Craig Northrop of Flinton, Cambria County, began working for the Department of Corrections at SCI Houtzdale in 2005 as a General Industry Factory Foreman and promoted in 2010 to General Factory Supervisor. In 2019, he was promoted again to a Correctional Industries Manager 2 at SCI Huntingdon where he is currently working.
William J. York of Lewistown, Mifflin County, started working for the commonwealth in 1981 at the PA Department of Public Welfare as a Maintenance Repairman. He began working for the Department of Corrections in Correctional Industries in 1998 as an Automated Technology Trainee. He worked through the DOC ranks as an Automated Technology Trainee (1998-1999), Information Technology Trainee (1999), Information Technology Generalist (1999-2004), Correctional Industry Manager (2004-2009), Administrative Officer 4 (2009-2013), and currently as a Correctional Industries Manager 2 at SCI Benner Township.
All three employees were nominated for the award by their colleague Pricilla D. Karns.