Repurposing Factories for Good
When states like Massachusetts ordered non-essential businesses to close amid the novel coronavirus outbreak, companies like our partner New Balance complied by closing their factories and retail stores. No more than a week later, however, the factories re-opened their doors — not to make shoes, but face masks.
As an urgent demand for personal protective equipment (PPE) continues to intensify across the country, many individuals are getting crafty at home by making homemade masks. However, the need for masks for frontline workers which meet FDA requirements, continues to grow, which is where New Balance steps in. After designing a prototype, the company is in production and has already produced more than 100,000 masks.
Additionally, the company is responding to calls for other PPE including gowns and foot coverings, with their Research & Development teams. This includes working toward prototypes and exploring collaborative opportunities that optimize their 3D printing capabilities.
Company officials said that when the factories are at full production, they expect 150 employees will be making 100,000 masks per week between Norridgewock and Lawrence, Massachusetts.
New Balance doesn’t know how long it will be producing PPE but plans to assist as long as it is able. Currently, they are coordinating distribution efforts of the masks with local government officials and medical institutions.
In uncertain times for companies looking ahead to the future, it is amazing to see companies like our partners at New Balance using their resources and knowledge to help fight the coronavirus pandemic.