CULLMAN, Alabama – JELCO, a Cullman manufacturer that typically produces fall-protection gear for utility workers, is expanding its workforce and adding equipment as it ventures into a new product line – personal protective equipment for health care workers.
Philip Clemmons, president and CEO of JELCO, said the move stems from his desire to make a positive contribution during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, when hospitals and health care workers were scrambling to locate PPE.
“Back in March, we looked around and said, ‘What can we do to help with COVID-19?’ We knew how to sew, and I had capable people,” he said. “I could also buy more sewing machines and hire more people. I talked to a few of my friends who are doctors, and that’s how we got into PPE.”
JELCO initially began producing washable face masks based on local demand. It quickly shifted the new production endeavor to include hospital gowns, after discussions with Cullman Regional Medical Center, which placed an order for 3,000 gowns.