Specialty Fabrics Review May 2020 - 25

MAKERS, MARINE, MILITARY
AND MORE: CAN WE PIVOT?
Suppliers and end product manufacturers
in several other IFAI divisions spent the
earlier weeks of the crisis reorganizing to
comply with federal and state regulations
for businesses still in operation and
exploring the possibilities of devoting their
resources into making PPE, medical kits
and industrial curtains.
"The industry is trying to work
collaboratively and cooperatively-
with each other and with industry
organizations. We need a living supply
chain," Frank Henderson, CEO of
Henderson Sewing Machine Co.,
Andalusia, Ala., said in one IFAI webinar.
Jeff Newkirk, MFC, owner of Precision
Custom Canvas Inc., St. Catharines,
Ontario, Canada, pivoted his marine shop
to produce nonmedical-grade face masks,
face shields and barrier curtains aimed at
secondary markets such as pharmacies,
grocery stores and nursing homes.
Newkirk says that like many in the
marine industry, he jumped on this
opportunity to help his community, to keep
his employees working and to keep his shop
afloat. "Let's face it, the economy has tanked
and we work on people's toys," he says.
"The phone is not ringing for new jobs. We
see a lean summer going into fall. I see this
opportunity to make PPE as a community
service and also as an opportunity to
produce income. We're being ethical by
charging a fair margin, and it will enable us
to weather the upcoming economic storm."
When marinas and nonessential
businesses were shut down in Michigan,
Rob Kotowski, Lake Shore Boat Top Co.,
St. Clair Shores, had no choice but to lay
off 12 employees. "Worst day of my life.
These people are like family to me," he
says. Kotowski's shop was awarded a state
contract to produce medical safety shields
and surgical masks and is doing mass
production cutting for other companies
producing PPE. "With our state contract,

0520RV_p22-27.indd 25

IFAI responds to COVID-19
IFAI's response to COVID-19 has taken on many forms of communication-
all with the intent to help textile professionals mobilize in a time when
manufacturing PPE has been more important than ever.
COVID-19 Supplier Directory. IFAI along with the National Council of Textile
Organizations (NCTO) and Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry
(INDA) created a COVID-19 Production Capacity Database. The database
includes finished goods and input information on PPE. Visit www.ifai.com/
covid-19/supplier-directory.

IFAI's COVID-19 Resource Center. This website is a hub that aggregates a
variety of information, including government news, financial resources and
companies' offerings for products, services and equipment. Educational
trainings are posted along with sourcing requests and opportunities. Visit
www.ifai.com/COVID-19.

Webinars. Webinars were hosted by IFAI for all of the market divisions
mid-March through early April. The webinars gave members a chance to
share observations on pivoting their businesses, keeping employees safe
and working remotely. More webinars and trainings are planned.

Member emails. IFAI is sending regular electronic updates to members
on many pertinent topics, including overview explanations on the COVID-19
funding from the federal and state governments.

Social media. Regular Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn posts are shared on
what companies are doing to fortify health-care workers and consumers
with PPE equipment and other protective gear. The posts capture the energy
and commitment of an industry that is making a difference in preventing the
spread of COVID-19 infections.

we have five employees working right now,
and we are hoping each day to be able to
bring more back."
Michael Woody, CEO of Trans-Tex LLC,
Cranston, R.I., and immediate past chair
of the Narrow Fabrics Institute, says many
manufacturers who have pivoted to PPE
production are frustrated by the lack of
coordination among state officials.
"We manufacturers want to help,
but we feel like airplanes flying over the
airport ready to land and there's no one in

4/20/20 8:38 AM


http://www.ifai.com/ http://www.ifai.com/COVID-19

Specialty Fabrics Review May 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Specialty Fabrics Review May 2020

Specialty Fabrics Review May 2020 - Cover1
Specialty Fabrics Review May 2020 - Cover2
Specialty Fabrics Review May 2020 - 1
Specialty Fabrics Review May 2020 - 2
Specialty Fabrics Review May 2020 - 3
Specialty Fabrics Review May 2020 - 4
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Specialty Fabrics Review May 2020 - Cover3
Specialty Fabrics Review May 2020 - Cover4
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