Hard Times Urge Tulsa Company To Innovate, Create Face Shields
TULSA, Oklahoma - A Tulsa company that makes banding and signage for companies across the world is making a big change to keep its workers employed.
They are currently creating face shields and said by next week they'll be able to crank out 2,000 every day. They said they're trying to help protect people on the front lines of the fight against coronavirus (COVID-19).
The week started out dark for Scott Bogie, the CEO of A&B Identity.
The company makes specialized clothing, signs, promotional material, and many special event items.
But with events being cancelled, they found themselves at a crossroads.
"For the first time in 36 years, we found ourselves in a position where we had to furlough two thirds of our staff," Bogie said.
The company got creative by making signage for businesses with new needs like curbside food pickup, and then, realizing they could make personal protective equipment for people fighting COVID-19.
"That's where we came up with the idea of the face shields with the equipment we have," he said.
Their specialized machine can cut the three main components to the face shields-- the plastic, the foam backing, and decals they can customize for different hospitals and organizations.
"We've had calls with people asking for as few as three to four, to as many as 10,000 pieces and everywhere in between."
Bogie said the shields aren't sterile, but he said they can protect against respiratory droplets that spread COVID-19. He said they get to help with a huge need, but the best part is his employees get their jobs back.
"I'm definitely optimistic today that come next week we're going to start bringing those people back in," Bogie said.
A&B said they are getting their shipments of materials in Monday and are taking face shield orders now.
He said they're only charging what it costs them to make the shields. They expect to be back to full staff on Monday.