New York, NY — New York City has developed a public-private partnership with the White House, the New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC), and Owens-Minor (OW), a healthcare logistics company, to provide New York City with one million square yards of American-made medical gown fabric. This supply will allow local New York City manufacturers to produce up to 400,000 hospital gowns for frontline health care workers. Through a partnership with the United Parcel Service of America (UPS), the fabric will be delivered from Owens-Minor’s facility in North Carolina to local manufacturers across the City.
“Our healthcare workers are heroes on the front line – we must use every tool we’ve got to ensure their safety,” said Mayor de Blasio. “That means relying on New Yorkers’ resilience, ingenuity, and manufacturing prowess to create a self-sufficient supply of the resources they need to get through this crisis.”
The City, working closely with EDC, has identified local fashion and garment manufacturers and sewing talent that can make the medical gowns. One organization producing gowns is Course of Trade, a woman-owned workforce development organization that trains the next generation of fashion manufacturers for free in Sunset Park Brooklyn. They have hired 400 New Yorkers and will produce 60,000 hospital gowns a week in six different factories in South Brooklyn. Several other major fashion and garment companies are producing medical gowns, including former participants in the City’s Fashion Manufacturing Initiative (FMI), a program that funds garment factory modernization. These factories will produce 400,000 gowns by late May. Manufacturers in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Brooklyn Army Terminal, and in other areas throughout the City are also producing face shields. Currently there are nine local manufacturers producing roughly 300,000 face shields per week; by the end of the month, they will produce 465,000 a week. The Big Apple has also launching a new effort to produce testing kit supplies in New York City. NYCEDC is building a new supply chain to launch in the beginning of May that will produce up to 50,000 tests per week as well as testing swabs.
“New York City is facing a crisis unlike anything it has seen before and getting through it will require bold action and strong collaboration across industry sectors and all levels of government,” said James Patchett, President and CEO of the New York City Economic Development Corporation. “This partnership is an example of what needs to be done to effectively respond to COVID-19. The result is much-needed supplies so local NYC manufacturers can produce hundreds of thousands of hospital gowns for our frontline workers.”