To combat the COVID-19 pandemic, companies have pulled together, shifted production and repurposed resources to help during the coronavirus pandemic to protect frontline workers and those affected. Several businesses with the support of the Michigan Strategic Fund and other resources are helping.


If your company has had to repurpose to help during the pandemic, you can send information to bhightower@freepress.com to be added to the list.


BASF Corporation in Wyandotte has created and produced a hand sanitizer, HandClasp, with the first 1,000 gallons in the U.S. donated to the Henry Ford Health System. The facility has produced more than 8,000 gallons of hand sanitizer being distributed to the Henry Ford Health System, and other health care systems in Michigan, Texas, Louisiana, Mexico and Canada, and other BASF locations in the United States.


Cadillac Products Automotive Company and Cadillac Products Packaging Company will combine workforces, capabilities and factories to manufacture medical personal protective equipment (PPE) for front line doctors and nurses. More than 11,000 gowns will be produced initially.


Key suppliers include: Dow Chemical in Midland donated resin for making polyethylene film, Universal Container Corporation in Ferndale donated boxes, Stevens Custom Fabrication in Alpena donated custom heat-seal bars, and Rupp Engineering in Fraser worked on design and fabrication of tooling.


Additionally, Cadillac Products has donated 180 N95 respirators from inventory to Sinai Grace Hospital.


Detroit Sewn, a Pontiac company specializing in knitwear was awarded a $25,000 grant proposed by Coulter and approved by the county Board of Commissioners is shifting production to make cotton fabric medical face masks for health care systems and first responders across metro area. The grant will allow the company to invest in equipment and hire employees resulting in a significant increase in production.


Gettees in Sterling Heights: Started making disposable cloth masks that are being donated and shipped to local hospitals and medical facilities in need. Also, the company has partnered with Ezywrap to make medical-grade Microbe safety masks that will be shipped back to Ezywrap.


Industrial Sewing and Innovation Center, a national sewn goods manufacturing and training nonprofit in Detroit, will be making millions of pleated medical grade masks and thousands of sewn surgical masks and isolation gowns through a coordinated effort designed to support local businesses and keep workers employed.


ISAIC has been working with the City of Detroit, the Michigan Economic Development Corp.’sPure Michigan Business Connect, Carhartt, Rock Family of Companies and Empowerment Plan on a two-pronged approach: first, to mobilize local apparel manufacturing to produce standardized, centralized PPE and second, automated, mass production of pleated surgical masks.


Empowerment Plan has temporarily stopped coat production due to COVID-19 and has retooled its facility to serve as ISAIC’s centralized preproduction and training center while the ISAIC factory buildout is completed.


Marygrove Awnings is converting a portion of their 15,000 square-foot Livonia manufacturing facility to produce face shields and face masks for the first responders in order to help combat the COVID-19 virus. The Wayne County Sheriff’s office has a supply of shields. The company’s initial batches have been donated to Livonia Police, University of Toledo Hospital, Detroit Metro Airport Security, and hospitals, and nurses in the area. Marygrove is in discussions with other essential workers that may benefit from the face shields and masks. Currently the company can produce 1,000 face shields and masks per day and intends to increase production according to demand.


MaskClub is a new company from Trevco (based in Madison Heights), a licensee company with more than 800 licensed brands, is producing 20,000 double-ply masks a day, all printed and sewn in the USA. For every mask purchase, the company will donate a medical grade mask to First Responders Children’s Foundation for distribution to paramedics, emergency medical technicians, police officers, firefighters and medical personnel treating COVID-19 patients. MaskClub is also donating an initial 5,000 masks to the foundation.


National Filters, Inc., in Harbor Beach will increase surgical mask production from 250 per day to 7,200 masks per hour, and begin producing N95 respirators at the rate of 2,000 per hour. The company will also rehire 16 employees who had been previously laid off due to the COVID-19 outbreak.


Plymouth Technology, Inc. and Haviland Enterprises will manufacture weekly batches of hand sanitizer utilizing Haviland’s facility in Kalmazoo and Plymouth’s facility in Rochester Hills. Twenty-five percent of production will be donated to frontline responders, according to Amanda Richie, CEO of Plymouth Technology, Inc. The manufacturing campaign is expected to produce more than 100,000 gallons of hand sanitizer. The balance of the production will be sold at market value in 5-gallon and 55-gallon containers and will offset the cost of manufacturing the donated goods. For eastern Michigan donation requests, contact Handsanitizer@ptiwater.com; for all other donation requests, contact Handsanitzer@havilandusa.com; and for all sales inquiries, contact danb@havilandusa.com.


Vaughn, an Oxford-based manufacturer of ice hockey equipment, was awarded a $50,000 grant from a fund proposed by Coulter and approved by the county Board of Commissioners to produce several thousand high quality protective gowns and caps a week. The grant allows Vaughn to bring back employees and dramatically increase production.