By Amy Susan, Communications Manager
The state’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Center, Missouri Enterprise, announced the creation of the Covid-19 Reopening Products & Services Directory to help employers protect their employees on the job while also supporting the manufacturing community in our state.
Many Missouri manufacturers stepped up to help fill the PPE supply chain gap to support our medical community in the wake of Covid-19. Despite their valiant efforts, not all products produced to respond to the demand to meet certain medical standards. This is where the directory concept was born. From distillery makers adding sanitizers to their product portfolio, to furniture fabric companies now producing face masks and gowns – Missouri manufacturers continue to harness their entrepreneurial spirit to fill a need as they take on new PPE business ventures. Currently, 46 organizations and companies who either make or offer PPEs are listing their products on the directory.
“By purchasing products from this directory, you are supporting our manufacturers and their workers, many of whom were hit hard by the pandemic,” said Dusty Cruise, CEO and President of Missouri Enterprise.
Missouri Lt. Governor Mike Kehoe also recognizes the dozens of manufacturers across the state who are working to fill the significant demand for medical masks and gowns to combat Covid-19, encouraging them to enroll in the state’s Buy Missouri program. The economic development initiative actively promotes to other states and the world the products that are grown, manufactured, processed, and or/made in Missouri.
“Missouri’s manufacturers play a critical role in the state’s economy,” Kehoe says. “I am very proud of Buy Missouri members who continue to manufacture and distribute PPE to keep Missourians and their employees safe. It is important to shop local whenever possible, because by doing so we enhance Missouri’s economy while supporting our neighbors, friends and families.”
Supporting partner, Associated Industries of Missouri (AIM), is also offering face shields on the directory.
“As the oldest statewide representative of manufacturers in the Missouri Capitol, we know the importance of Missouri Enterprise and the value that it brings for exactly this kind of situation: helping Missouri businesses find the PPE they need to protect their employees and customers. We are pleased to be a part of this effort,” said Ray McCarty, President and CEO of Associated Industries of Missouri.
Based in Kansas City, custom gasket manufacturer Gasket Engineering Co. quickly responded to the PPE supply chain need by using its die-cutting expertise to produce protective face shields. Today, this directory member can produce over 15,000 masks per day and has already produced and shipped over 100,000 units to health care providers, businesses, and individuals.
"When the need for PPE production became evident, Gasket Engineering responded immediately and dedicated a portion of its capacity to PPE production. Missouri Enterprise’s directory has been a great tool to promote our product as well as connect with other Missouri manufacturers,” said Boyd Comfort of Gasket Engineering.
(Photos of the Gasket Engineering team working on PPEs out of Kansas City facility.)
“We are hearing from manufacturers who are innovating new products and converting some of their materials to help meet the overall PPE challenge,” said Cruise. “This effort epitomizes the ingenuity and heart of manufacturing. Every product made in a facility today was developed to solve a problem. During this great time of need, our manufacturers are stepping up. We are proud to support them.”
If your company would like to join the directory or become a supporting partner, please visit https://info.missourienterprise.org/covid19-directory. At this time, we also encourage manufacturers to register their medical-grade products on Missouri’s PPE Marketplace for hospitals to view and purchase.
About Missouri Enterprise:
As the dedicated MEP Center in the Show-Me State, Missouri Enterprise is enhancing its assistance to help manufacturers find their way through this crisis. From business continuity planning, safety and wellness of employees, supply chain development, product innovation, and adjusting communications strategies, Missouri Enterprise is here to help manufacturers navigate the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and take steps toward recovery. Learn more at our dedicated Covid-19 Manufacturing Solutions & Resources webpage, Recover, Reboot, Reopen.
For more information, contact:
Amy N. Susan, Communications Manager