There is no doubt that the COVID-19 crisis has created an unprecedented landscape in New Jersey. Residents, employees, and business owners alike are facing uncertain times during this crisis, as it is unlike anything we have experienced before. Many are doing whatever they can to help those in their communities, while healthcare workers are putting their lives at risk to keep us safe and treat patients. New Jersey manufacturing companies are no different. In recent weeks, the state has seen an incredible outpouring of support from the private sector. NJ manufacturers have been innovating in the face of this crisis, creatively pivoting and trying something new by converting their production lines to create essential supplies. Below, we highlight instances of the NJ manufacturing industry doing its part to provide support to those at the front lines of the coronavirus outbreak.
Brother International Corp., a provider of home, home office, and business products based in Bridgewater, NJ, announced that it will be donating up to 100 industrial sewing machines to help speed up the manufacturing of personal protective equipment (PPE) needed by healthcare providers in New Jersey. The sewing machines were first donated to companies that are part of a coalition of American apparel brands and companies who have recently shifted their efforts towards the production of face masks, but donations are also being made to Brooks Brothers for PPE production. Dom Cummins, president of Brother International Corp., summed up the company’s efforts by saying, “Given the severe and growing shortage of personal protective equipment, Brother is proud to donate our products to support these stalwart manufacturers with their efforts in making masks for our frontline workers.”
A manufacturing company in Washington, NJ is trying something new to aid with relief amid the COVID-19 pandemic. BASF Corp. (which is headquartered in Florham Park) is using its Washington facility to produce hand sanitizer for New Jersey and New York, free of charge. The company said that the production goal is 3,500 gallons of hand sanitizer, a product they have never made before, and that the aim is to meet COVID-19 demands in the hardest hit states. The hand sanitizer will be donated to regional hospitals and government agencies. As New Jersey and New York have seen devastating impacts of the pandemic, manufacturing companies are doing their part to support those in both their home state and neighboring states.
Unionwear, a Newark-based company that normally makes hats, bags, and binders, has switched its operations to create face shields, which make all the difference in the effort to protect healthcare workers on the front lines of the pandemic. Despite the supply chain issues that many companies are facing, Unionwear has been producing 8,000 to 10,00 face shields per day, which are being sent to hospitals in New Jersey and New York. The company was able to begin manufacturing face shields without a learning curve, because the shields are made up of production elements the company already utilizes for their regular products. The production also encourages the safety of Unionwear employees because the sewing portion of the process can be done remotely.
Along with healthcare workers, those working in grocery stores and other essential establishments have needed protection as well. To meet this growing demand, Clifton manufacturing company Sandy Alexander (which normally produces custom retail and restaurant displays) has begun designing and producing plastic barriers, creating what is essentially a large “sneeze guard” to protect cashiers. The company has also been producing face shields, creating up to 10,000 a day between their New Jersey plant and plants in two other states. The barriers are meant to provide both protection and peace of mind. CEO Michael Graff is looking to expand the company’s efforts, saying “If people have ideas, please contact us. We are available to help in any way we can.” The pandemic has led manufacturing companies in NJ to think outside the box, creating life-saving products that they didn’t even know they were capable of producing.
Despite the fact that we are in the middle of uncertain times, New Jersey businesses and manufacturing companies are standing their ground and showcasing the true strength of the state as a whole. As an ideal state for manufacturing, due to our strategic location, specialized talent pool, and transportation infrastructure, New Jersey is a perfect consideration for those looking to expand or relocate their facilities. With both site selection services and economic development connections, Choose New Jersey is ready to help manufacturing companies have a smooth landing and seamlessly continue their operations in a new home. To learn more about how your manufacturing company can thrive in New Jersey, please contact us today.
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