Workers at Monticello-based Jordan Manufacturing Inc. would usually be sewing and cutting fabric to be used to make patio cushions and outdoor furniture umbrellas. But these days, the company’s 600 workers are helping to produce personal protective equipment for Indiana’s healthcare workers.
“When Governor Holcomb called on citizens to do their part, we decided that it needed to be a priority to help our neighbors, first responders, healthcare workers,” said Pat Jordan, co-owner of Jordan Manufacturing.
Jordan is one of fifteen Hoosier-based companies that were honored Monday by Holcomb and the Indiana Economic Development Corp. for switching their production lines to manufacture PPE.
The manufacturer has plants in Monticello and Kentland, as well as Yuma, AZ. Their workers are producing isolation gowns and masks.
“These domestic employees are working hard to produce over 3,000 gowns and over 2,000 masks on a weekly basis, and that number continues to climb,” said Jordan.
The IEDC says it has been working with business leaders across the state to help meet the increased demand for PPE. The agency says it has secured commitments for more than 2.6 million pieces of PPE. Of these, more than 1.9 million items are being made by 15 Indiana manufacturers.
“It’s incredible to see Indiana companies shifting gears to help those who need it most right now, our health care providers on the frontline,” Holcomb said. “We couldn’t be more grateful for these companies stepping up and contributing in every way they can.”
Another 440,000 pieces were donated, according to IEDC. The purchased and donated products are being delivered to the Indiana State Department of Health for distribution.
Jordan said the company is proud to be able to respond to the current crisis, but he also wants the U.S. to become less dependent on foreign suppliers, no matter the industry.
“We also want to be part of the permanent solution to the dependency that we have on foreign nations for essential products. Our focus is getting through this crisis as quickly as possible. We also would be remiss in not to consider the impact that it has on our lives. And again, we want to be part of that long-term solution for Indiana.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: View Governor Holcomb’s daily press briefing by watching the video at the bottom of this story.
Indiana businesses that have shifted production to help deliver these critical supplies include:
- The Acid Products-Prairie Packaging Company (LaPorte County), an independent chemical distributor specializing in the packaging and distribution of chemicals and blends, is now helping meet demand for hand sanitizer and hard surface cleaners. The company’s Kingsbury facility is providing hand sanitizer to the state and also donated supplies to first responders in LaPorte County.
- Berry Global Group Inc. (Vanderburgh County), a global, Evansville-based Fortune 500 company, is accelerating production of plastic face shields and aims to soon reach production of 150,000 per week. The company will provide 30,000 face shields to the state, helping provide an added protection for first responders and medical personnel. Berry Global is also leveraging the support of Evansville-based suppliers for foam materials and elastic cutting.
- Fatheadz Eyewear (Marion County), founded in Indianapolis in 2004, creates and offers eyewear specifically tailored to customers with heads too large to fit in standard width sunglasses comfortably. The company has now shifted its operations to produce fluid protective goggles, safety glasses and shields and plans to fulfill an order of several thousand items to the state yet this week.
- Fleece Performance Engineering (Hendricks County), established in 2008, is a manufacturer of automotive products headquartered in Pittsboro. The company, which makes products such as turbochargers, fuel system components and repair parts, has redeployed its engineers and a portion of its flexible manufacturing space to develop, test, document and begin producing lightweight disposable full face shields. The company now has the capacity to produce up to 250,000 per week.
- GDC Inc. (Elkhart County), a certified Woman Business Enterprise, is a total solutions provider of products and components to a range of industries, supplying 20 million parts annually to companies like Ford, Toyota, GM and Trane. The Goshen-based company plans to start manufacturing disposable full face shields in April and expects to provide 500,000 pieces to the state.
- Hentz Manufacturing (Allen County) has been in the business of textile design and manufacturing since 1994, providing scalable solutions for brands like Disc-O-Bed, Vera Bradley, Harris and Cinda B. The company’s Fort Wayne facility has started production of isolation gowns, face masks and face shields and has already filled initial orders for the state. Hentz, which is now in its fourth week of PPE production, has already produced 46,600 PPE items as of last Friday, April 10. The company is ramping up its team to meet demand, hiring 25 new Hoosiers already with more job openings on the way.
- Jordan Manufacturing Company Inc. (Newton & White Counties), a Monticello-based family owned and operated business, produces outdoor patio textiles, such as cushions, umbrellas, furniture, curtains, beverage buddies, bean bags and indoor cushions. The company has shifted production at its Indiana facilities in Monticello and Kentland to make isolation gowns to support healthcare providers, producing 11,500 for the state.
- Mastercraft (LaGrange County), the world’s largest maker of RV furniture, has been serving manufacturers and direct consumers since 1971. The LaGrange-based company is now using its expertise to manufacture non-medical isolation gowns, producing thousands each week.
- Mursix Corporation (Delaware County), which specializes in stamping and component manufacturing, serves a wide range of customers whose applications range from hospital beds to automotive safety to hybrid electric vehicles. The Yorktown company is now manufacturing up to 500,000 face shields each week.
- Royer Corporation (Jefferson County), a leading manufacturer of custom injection molded food service equipment, custom swizzle sticks, beverage stirrers, picks and a variety of branded promotional products, is utilizing its resources to create face shields for medical workers. The Madison-based, family-owned company plans to produce 75,000 weekly pieces, sending 20,000 to support the state’s efforts so far. Royer has partnered with Clifty Engineering, also based in Madison, to fabricate and build an additional die cutting machine, which will double its output of face shields.
- SuperATV (Jefferson County), a provider of aftermarket All-Terrain Vehicles (ATV) and Utility Task Vehicles (UTV) parts and accessories, has shifted production to make lightweight full face shields, intubation shields and retail employee protective barriers, with plans to produce face shields for the state’s front-line workers.
- Tiedemann-Bevs Industries (TBI) (Wayne County), has been operating in Richmond since 1974. TBI, which manufactures interior casket components and distributes essential textiles to hundreds of casket manufacturers in the industry, is now producing 1,000 isolation gowns per week.
- Top Stitch (Elkhart County) is a family owned commercial sewing business that serves diverse industries, including RVs, equine supplies, interior design and hospitality. The company, one of Indiana’s more than 508,000 small businesses, has applied its textile experience to the healthcare industry and is now making medical gowns and surgical face masks, filling orders to the state as well as to customers in the Northeast U.S.
- Williams Distribution (Marion County), a minority-owned chemical distribution company in Indianapolis, helps manufacturers with supply chain simplification, product sourcing and on time delivery. The company is leveraging its expertise to support the increased need for PPE and is shipping nearly 48,000 items, including hand sanitizer, medical gowns and gloves, to the state.
- Worldcell Extrusions (Elkhart County), which has been manufacturing thermoplastic foams for the packaging industry since 2015, has adjusted production at its 90,000-square-foot facility in Elkhart to produce lightweight face shields for medical workers.