Posted: Apr 16, 2020 4:39 PM
Updated: Apr 16, 2020 6:44 PM
A North Alabama personal protective equipment company is expanding, making it possible for them to make PPE in new ways and faster than before.
By the end of the year Kappler's new Technology and Training Center's phase one will be completed, and will even bring in new employees.
"In the last 6 weeks with the COVID-19 pandemic, we've really seen an explosion for our medical garments," said Jay Nicholson, the R&D Director for Kappler.
It's why Kappler said now is the perfect time for the company's expansion. Kappler makes biohazard suits that protect you from contagious diseases like the coronavirus.
Nicholson said the company's new technology and training center will allow them to be more innovative, and use new technologies when making items. He said the additional space will also allow them produce PPE faster.
The facility will also have a space where employees can train their clients on what types of equipment to use, and when. Nicholson said that's vital when it comes to PPE.
"Even though you may purchase PPE, you don't know necessarily what you made need for a given situation," he said.
The new center will also bring jobs to Marshall County. Nicholson said the company has a plan to hire 60 employees by the end of 2023.
"The majority of that is going to be on our production floor, we'll have sewing and seam sealing operators, additional personnel, the preparation of the fabrics to sew into garments," he said.
Nicholson said right now the company is actively looking to bring in new employees to try to keep up with the demand. But, they're proceeding with caution
"It's a bit of a challenge to bring in the personnel that we need to continue to expand but also to do it in a wise manner so we're not putting in jeopardy our current employees," he said.
Phase one is expected to be finished by December. There are three total phases to the facility.