Washington manufacturers and other businesses have proven they can adapt quickly, with hundreds responding to Gov. Jay Inslee’s call to support the state’s response to COVID-19. During this pandemic, Washington companies have found ways to collaborate and change their production lines to churn out products that were not a part of their core business.
“We need to seize our own destiny,” Inslee said at a news conference earlier this year. “Now, it is time for us to turn to our manufacturing community for the equipment we need in this fight in this war.”
Inslee urged manufacturers to shift their operations to make things like surgical masks, swab tests, saline solution, vials, N95 masks, gloves, surgical gowns and face shields. That shift has happened — and a lot more — showcasing the innovative manufacturing agility in Washington state.
As the manufacturing community came forward, the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Center Impact Washington loaned manufacturing experts to the effort. Impact Washington worked alongside the Department of Commerce to help over 60 manufacturers and business adjust their operations to meet the state’s growing need for personal protective equipment (PPE). They also provided guidance to businesses to get the proper certification and assist them in navigating the state procurement and testing process to ensure quality and usability of the PPE. More manufacturers retooled on their own, and additional manufactures who already were producing PPE reached out to state purchasers.
Read the rest of the story on the governor's Medium page.