MIAMI (April 14, 2020) – Goodwill South Florida has joined Baptist Health South Florida in the fight against COVID-19. This week, Goodwill has started utilizing a portion of its recently shuttered sewing operations, and rehiring some of its staff, to manufacture Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) for medical personnel at hospitals that part of Baptist Health.
“We are happy that we are able to leverage our available work force, facilities and machines to do our part in helping those at the front lines of this fight against COVID-19,” said David Landsberg, CEO of Goodwill South Florida.
Goodwill has already completed 2,000 masks for the hospitals; made with camouflage on the outside, a softer fabric on the inside and ties in the back. Last Friday, the non-profit began the manufacturing of 12,000 Isolation Gowns made out of special water-repellant fabric supplied by Baptist.
To get these gowns in the hands of front-line medical staff as soon as possible, Goodwill will ship them to Baptist Health for immediate distribution as they are being completed. The entire order is set to be fulfilled by April 28, 2020. Both companies are working together to potentially also produce other types of PPE.
“We reached out to Goodwill and asked if we could work together to address the national and local shortage of PPE,” said Joe Natoli, Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer at Baptist Health South Florida. “That call set in motion a win-win — the repurposing of some of Goodwill’s production capabilities to support our caregivers and create new work for some of our community’s most vulnerable people.”
Goodwill has rehired 20-25 sewing operators to complete this special initiative. These recently furloughed employees have been quarantined – since the Apparel Manufacturing Division closed more than two weeks ago – are healthy, and have voluntarily agreed to return to work.
“We not only found a way to help keep our heroes safe, but also a way to keep some of our program participants employed,” said Landsberg. “We are doing everything we can, taking every opportunity to help the people we serve.”
Goodwill South Florida is taking measures to ensure the safety of these employees by having the facilities scrubbed clean, sewing machines set at 6 feet apart and installing vinyl partitions between them. Also, staff nurses will be taking the temperatures of all employees everyday upon entrance to the facility, and will provide masks and hand sanitizers to each of them.
For Information Contact: