State works with manufacturers to make supplies

Published 2:25 pm Tuesday, May 12, 2020

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North Carolina is working with local manufacturers to shift their production to make critical medical supplies.

In March, Gov. Roy Cooper established the state’s Task Force for Emergency Repurposing of Manufacturing (TFERM) to increase the amount of protective gear made here at home.

“North Carolina has a long history as a leader in manufacturing and innovation, and I’m proud that our homegrown companies are leading the way in making critical supplies for our frontline workers,” said Cooper.

TFERM has partnered with the N.C. Manufacturing Extension Partnership, Carolina Textile District, and the Economic Development Partnership of N.C. to identify and collaborate with manufacturers statewide who are able to pivot their operations to produce critical personal protective equipment (PPE) including face shields, hand sanitizer, cloth masks, gowns and more. The Task Force has worked with more than 300 North Carolina companies.

Saab Barracuda LLC of Lillington normally produces camouflage netting for the military and Apple Rock of Greensboro makes trade show displays and other graphic products. Both are now producing isolation gowns. Other firms are producing face shields, including ASI Signage of Holly Springs, Gilero of Pittsboro and Bright View Technologies of Durham.

Production of these supplies has already started, with Apple Rock and Gilero delivering on a regular schedule. Bright View Technologies and ASI Signage have fulfilled purchase orders for the state with shipments from other manufacturers expected soon.

The state of North Carolina has also secured a contract with Charlotte-based Honeywell for a monthly delivery of 100,000 N95 respirator masks through August 2021, for a total of 4.2 million masks.

Winston-Salem based Hanes, in partnership with N.C. State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is developing high-grade masks for medical workers. Designs are being evaluated for performance and fit.

If your company can sell or donate PPE or other critical supplies to the state, visit and complete the online COVID-19 procurement form to be considered. Companies making COVID-19 supplies not purchased by the state are referred to, an online PPE marketplace serving to connect manufacturers and private companies in need of PPE.