NJ pen maker now manufacturing face shields for hospitals
GARWOOD, N.J. - For Colleen Shea and her employees at Pen Company of America, the COVID-19 pandemic slowed business down quite a bit, but now they’re hoping to be busier than ever.
"This is a splash guard. It's made of cellulose acetate, which is an environmentally friendly plastic," said Shea, the vice president of sales at Garwood-based company, as she showed a sample of the product to FOX 5 NY.
"My parent company that makes plastic that goes in welders' face shields modified their plastic in order to make face shields for hospital employees, nurses, doctors on the front lines," she said. "And they sent us the shields and we are changing our factory to manufacture it here."
The company had to lay off 10 employees but already half of them are back at work. Colleen expects the rest to be rehired soon. The company is now producing thousands of plastic splash guards a week and expects to produce as many as 50,000 to 60,000 a week by the end of the month.
"It has really good clarity and it is chemically resistant, meaning it can be sanitized and washed," she said. "It can be disinfected with a household cleaner, instead of having to toss it away since they are so hard to come by these days."
Pen Company of America is selling the splash guards to hospitals in New Jersey, which allows them to stay in business and keep healthcare workers protected. The company said it plans to give a portion of proceeds to local charities.