We’ve also worked hard to find creative ways to secure PPE for medical workers and first responders throughout the state with other folks. We’ve continued to work supply chains, but we’ve also looked into our own businesses right here in Massachusetts to help produce life-saving gear and supplies.
Last week we announced a new initiative and more than $10 million dollars in funding to support manufacturers’ efforts to pivot production operations to produce PPE and other critical devices such as ventilators, sanitizers, and thermometers. This funding assists manufacturers at scaling their operations to produce PPE and companies can apply for these grants through an online form for equipment, materials, supplies, workforce training, and other needs.
As of today, there are over 600 firms that are working with our team on this initiative. 400 of those companies are based in Massachusetts and represent a hundred and sixty-one communities throughout the state.
Participating companies run the gamut with respect to industry and commerce. They include 99 Degrees in Lawrence that shifted from exercise apparel to making medical gowns; Gillette Procter & Gamble in Boston, which is now also producing face shields; greeting card company, Love Pop, in Boston that’s producing masks gowns and shoe coverings; and right next door in Lee, Boy Technologies has partnered with us to adjust their operations and will produce face shields and 3D printing packages for nasal swabs.
Hazen Paper Company in Holyoke, famous for its whole logic images and publications like the Super Bowl program are now making hand sanitizer; Universal Plastics in Holyoke is now making face shields and acrylic intubation boxes; Smith & Wesson is making protective face Shields and donating that PPE to the City of Springfield.