FALL RIVER, Mass. —
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker on Tuesday visited a local company that has converted its facility in order to produce personal protective equipment for frontline health care workers.
Merrow Manufacturing in Fall River usually makes and sells apparel and soft goods but is now manufacturing protective gowns. It’s part of a larger, 8th-generation family company that also makes sewing machines and spare parts.
“They’re projecting that by the end of this summer they’ll be making 700,000 gowns per week,” Gov. Baker said.
The company already helped Rhode Island to resolve its shortage of protective gowns.
Gov. Gina Raimondo said the owners of the business, Owen and Charlie Merrow, are Rhode Island residents. That state received a shipment of 3,000 gowns and has ordered 500,000 more from the company, the governor said.
Merrow said Tuesday morning that the company is seeking to hire 100 more employees to help produce additional personal protective equipment.
“It has been a 40-day exercise of scaling a supply chain for medical products but it has been a 3-year program of investing in the infrastructure to be able to do it,” said Charlie Merrow.
“Securing PPE for front line health care workers and public safety personnel has been a challenge not just for us but for people across the country,” Baker said. We continue to work supply chains but we’ve looked to our own businesses right here in Massachusetts to help us produce life-saving gear and supplies.”
“This is a significant moment where industries that long ago thought that they had been left for dead are now vital,” Merrow said.