HIGH POINT, N.C. — A North Carolina company is responding to the state’s call for help with critical supplies. The manufacturer in High Point, EDM or Electronic Data, has now switched from the transportation industry to making face shields.
The move comes after a WCNC Charlotte Defenders investigation revealed the state has not received many of its orders for personal protective equipment.
A spokesman for the company says they were facing possible layoffs when they came up with the idea of making face shields. After they saw the Defenders investigation, they reached out to WCNC Charlotte’s Alex Shabad to see if they could help the state.
With ridership down across the country during the pandemic, EDM suddenly changed course.
“We manufacture all the tickets,” says Randy Bunnell, vice president of sales and marketing for EDM.
EDM lost significant business making transit passes for cities like Charlotte, Chicago, and New York.
“Thinking about letting go some folks,” Bunnell told WCNC Charlotte.
However instead of layoffs, the company decided to put its employees to work making face shields. Earlier this month, Bunnell saw a WCNC Charlotte Defenders investigation about North Carolina’s lack of PPE supply.
“I really reached out to you specifically to try to find out if there was a need for face shields,” said Bunnell.
WCNC Charlotte sent Bunnell a link to the state’s website to apply as a certified vendor. As of noon Monday, the state still had nearly 800,000 unfulfilled orders for face shields from the private sector.
State Representative Christy Clark included the initial Defenders investigation in her latest newsletter.
“Some of the vendors have overcommitted,” Representative Clark previously told WCNC Charlotte.
“We do believe we could produce hundreds of thousands in a week,” Bunnell said.
EDM says they began making product samples on Monday. They’re selling the face shields to anyone who needs it and also applied to be a state vendor.
“We thought that maybe we could help the state of North Carolina by being able to provide those face shields to the state,” Bunnell said. “Hopefully, it'll turn out well for everybody.”
Bunnell says they’re going to follow up in the coming days on their state application.
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