Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced 12 New York companies have received support from the State to produce needed supplies to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic. While the State currently has some of the lowest transmission rates in the United States, preparing for a possible “second wave” is vital to protecting essential healthcare workers and the public. These grant funds will help alleviate product shortages due to supply chain issues that could lead to unfair pricing practices. These companies will also increase the State’s manufacturing capacity while creating new jobs and market opportunities. To date, more than $11 million in grants have been awarded to 20 qualifying New York-based companies to retool their business lines and pivot to manufacturing vital supplies for ongoing response and recovery efforts.
“During the pandemic, the nation has learned a hard lesson about not having a supply chain for vital supplies based here at home in the U.S. and as a result we had to scour the globe for live-saving products that are mainly manufactured overseas,” Governor Cuomo said. “That won’t happen again in New York – we are building the infrastructure needed for the future and by supporting local companies’ pivot to new areas of production, we will be in a better position to avoid supply and demand issues and secure the items we need both quickly and at reasonable prices.”
In March, Governor Cuomo asked companies with New York-based operations to retool production lines in order to manufacture approved COVID-19 critical supplies, such as ventilators, test kits and PPE, including N95 respirators, surgical masks, disposable surgical gloves, gowns, face shields, and biohazard bags. More recently, the Governor announced ESD had identified 20 companies for State investment to manufacture supplies to address COVID-19, eight of which were previously awarded $4 million to help make the products here in New York State.
Additional information about the 12 companies announced:
Empire Bio Diagnostics Corp, Long Island: $500,000
A manufacturer of Viral Transport Medium (VTM) Kits used to transport COVID-19 test samples in Mineola. The kits are needed for sample collection, preservation and transportation and include the flocked swab, vial, cap and liquid transport medium. The company will invest over $2,000,000 in equipment to increase production of the kits. The plastic components are to be manufactured by a plastic injection molding business near Syracuse. Empire Bio Diagnostics is a joint venture with The Ruhof Corporation, a leader in the healthcare industry for over 40 years, supplying enzymatic detergents for surgical equipment and instrument care products.
CJ Designs: A Christian Siriano Company, New York City: $352,590
Manufacturing face masks/coverings for non-medical employees returning to public service. CJ Designs has provided the City of Buffalo with 10,000 customized uniform masks and has provided Metro North with 7,000 customized uniform masks. Christian Siriano quickly changed the scope of his high fashion Manhattan Design and Manufacturing studio to provide proper face coverings for two of the larger public employers in the State of New York. His company has invested $600,000 in this project which, allowed him to maintain his 17-person staff while promoting safety and economic recovery through the adaptation of his normal business. Christian is symbolic of great New Yorker’s rising to the challenge and supporting the well-being of the larger New York State community.
Dellet Industries, New York City: $850,000
Manufactures custom designed, institutional furniture for nursing homes and healthcare facilities. In addition to furniture, the Company also produces other healthcare supplies namely curtains used to divide rooms. Their facility is currently undergoing a $662,000 remodel to allow for the installation of two MMM-N95-cup, fully automatic, respirator making machines and related equipment. This $2.2 million project will allow the company to produce 1,000,000 N95 respirators on a monthly basis and will result in the return of 12 furloughed employees. The project is being financed through at least $300,000 in company equity and at least $500,000 in private investment.
Environmental Composites (ECI), Mohawk Valley: $772,259
A leader in manufacturing advanced textiles and filtration products that will manufacture N95 respirators. ECI wanted to increase New York State-manufactured PPE supplies, identified a supply chain bottleneck, and developed an alternative manufacturing solution to quickly increase the domestic production of N95 respirators in the state. ECI will invest $3,245,036 in the production of N95 respirators with a target production rate of over 6,000,000 units per month, creating an estimated 50 jobs. ECI is working with local distributors and New York State for allocation and N95 respirators are not available for direct purchase.
Genesis Disposables LLC, Mohawk Valley: $135,000
Manufacturing disposable garments and accessories for a diverse customer base for over 30 years at their facility located in Frankfort, Herkimer County. They carry a wide range of raw materials that can be quickly converted into finished goods, enabling them to deliver exceptional turnaround time. The initial company goal was to produce disposable hospital garments and has been expanded to include products for maintenance and industrial use as well as products designed to fit specific specialty needs within the disposable market. Genesis Disposables will invest $390,000 to produce 65,000 Level 1 & Level 2 isolation gowns and will create 20 jobs.
HPK Industries, Mohawk Valley: $1,000,000
A company with an established reputation for manufacturing high quality, technologically advanced disposable garments and accessories and will produce 3-ply surgical masks, level 3 barrier type gowns and level 2 gowns. HPK Industries is among leading companies designing and manufacturing protective garments for healthcare, pharmaceutical, scientific, clean room, and industrial safety. HPK Industries is a currently a New York State supplier of PPE and will invest $6,675,000, produce 1,000,000 units and create 30 jobs, expanding production to keep the State’s supply levels high.
KSL Diagnostics, Inc, Western New York: $800,000
A private clinical laboratory in Upstate New York. Their project involves the expansion of manufacturing of COVID-19 specimen collection materials, diagnostic capacity and testing outreach. Their test sample collection kits are being produced in Western New York for distribution to nursing homes, ambulatory surgery centers, hospitals and national laboratories to help meet the critical need for testing. KSL will invest $2.1 million with plans to hire 36 addition employees to produce 10,000+ test sample kits per week and scale its testing capacity.
Print Parts, Inc, New York City: $679,080
Print Parts, Inc. uses 3-D printing technology to create advanced manufacturing solutions for their customers. With the assistance of Empire State Development, Print Parts quickly retooled their existing operations and purchased several new DLP 3-D printers to manufacture hundreds of thousands of Nasopharyngeal (NP) swabs for the City of New York. In total, Print Parts, Inc. invested at least $1.2 million to ramp up and complete its project for New York City, manufactured more than 700,000 units and created four jobs at its Manhattan headquarters.
Rheonix, Southern Tier: $750,000
A molecular diagnostic company that has received FDA Emergency Use Authorization for its newly developed Rheonix COVID-19TM MDx assay, which enables same-day test results on the Rheonix Encompass MDxTM workstation. Both the workstations and assays are currently produced in their Ithaca facility. The system requires minimal training to use and can be quickly installed in critical locations of immediate need. It is ideally suited for use in low to medium-throughput labs, enabling same-day results for local and regional health networks, institutional facilities and hospitals. As a result of New York State’s support, Rheonix will produce 6,790 testing kits to yield 162,960 tests (units) for New York State customers by the third quarter 2020, and net 53 new jobs. Currently, there are 14 workstations in use in the state and six additional workstations on order to be deployed in New York.
Shatkin F.I.R.S.T, LLC, Western New York: $675,000
A dental and medical supply company based out of Amherst, Erie County. With the assistance of Empire State Development, Shatkin F.I.R.S.T. purchased an N95 respirator-making machine to manufacture hundreds of thousands of N95 respirators for their customers in the health care industry. In total, Shatkin F.I.R.S.T. has invested more than $500,000 to date, hired at least 30 people, has manufactured more than 200,000 N95 respirators, and recently procured a second machine to be able to manufacture millions of N95 respirators.
Starline USA, Western New York: $200,000
A multigenerational, family owned business in the promotional products industry which includes safety equipment such as eyewear and head protection. Starline USA’s laser capacity for producing promotional items, lent itself well to retooling for the COVID-19 crisis producing face shields and the company was also already selling PPE-related products in the promotional market world. Starline developed a prototype that was sent out for third party testing to the American National Standards Institute/International Safety Equipment Association (ANSI/ISEA) to test against the requirements for face shields and to ensure their face shield was viable in the market. The face shields Starline is producing are self-contained units, fully adjustable, individually polybagged, vented, cleanable and provide full face protection to the user. The total project cost is $485,000, and the company plans to produce 1,080,000 face shields.
You First Services, Western New York: $250,000
You First Services, based in Buffalo, Erie County, is a seven-year-old START-UP NY company specializing in air disinfection and sterilization systems. Their proprietary patented technology includes SteriSpace, an infectious disease containment and patient isolation technology licensed through SUNY Research Foundation and SUNY Buffalo. SteriSpace kills 99.9999% of airborne biological contaminants, including SARS, anthrax, influenza, tuberculosis and Coronavirus, as tested with funding from the U.S. Department of Defense. Prior to New York State funding, the SteriSpace technology was focused on temporary shelters and remote field hospitals deployed by the U.S. DoD and FEMA. With ESD’s COVID-19 funding, You First Services will be able to scale up the technology to be permanently installed in hospital isolation rooms and containment rooms, government and public buildings such as university infirmaries and meeting areas, schools, restaurants, border entry and security spaces, emergency rooms, ICUs, dental offices and patient waiting rooms. You First Services anticipates the cost to install SteriSpace into existing facilities will range from $50,000 to $300,000 per location, depending on facility size and complexity. You First Services is investing more than $1 million to get the first five sites installed and plans to add up to 20 full time and part time employees to its current staff of 40.