Medical supply company plans $350 million facility at Tradepoint Atlantic in Baltimore County with 2,000 employees – Baltimore Sun – Natural Self Esteem

A medical supplies company founded in the early stages of the pandemic announced Wednesday that it intends to build a $350 million glove factory at Tradepoint Atlantic, eventually adding more than 2,000 jobs to the site through a multi-phase, three-year development to bring Baltimore County .

If all goes according to plan, United Safety Technology will move into a 735,000-square-foot former Bethlehem Steel warehouse as early as the first quarter of next year and manufacture nitrile gloves — the kind that are worn by clinicians, doctors, dentists and first responders every year. These thin blue rubber gloves are made almost entirely outside of America and have been in short supply amid skyrocketing demand during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The development of the facility is supported by the federal government under a contract designed to encourage increased domestic production of nitrile gloves.

Standing on a stage in a cavernous warehouse the size of nearly 13 football pitches on Wednesday morning, elected officials and company executives described the factory not only as a boon to the local economy, but a crucial complement to national security.

“We are a team leading the movement to save lives [personal protective equipment] Production back to our shores. We can protect the safety of our communities in America,” said Dan Izhaky, CEO of United Safety Technology. “It is not only a noble mission, but an exciting one.”

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan called the proposed factory a “game changer.”

“The US currently produces less than 1% of global supply [of nitrile gloves]’ Hogan said. “This exciting new facility will change that.”

On behalf of the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Defense awarded United Safety Technology a $96.1 million contract to increase U.S. production of the gloves.

“Before the pandemic, I never thought about nitrile gloves,” Izhaky said, but now he knows that making nitrile gloves in the United States is “critical to the safety of our responders.”

Izhaky said the rest of the $350 million investment came from private sources, which he declined to name.

The State of Maryland is supporting the project, under an agreement with the state, with up to $61 million in tax credits and contingent loans, including $42 million in tax refunds received as part of the More Jobs for Marylanders incentive program. Are available. United Safety Technology must meet certain hiring benchmarks and investment goals to receive the full $61 million.

Baltimore County also pledged up to $900,000 in contingent loans as part of the same agreement. County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr. also spoke at Wednesday’s event.

“I’m so glad to see that Sparrows Point and Tradepoint Atlantic are indeed becoming this economic engine, a powerhouse for Baltimore County and the state of Maryland and now our country,” Olszewski said. “So thank you [United Safety Technology]for this important investment.”

The project will have three phases, Izhaky said, with the first phase costing $150 million. By the end of the first phase, the site is expected to be able to produce 375 million nitrile gloves per month, Izhaky said. The site will eventually produce N95 masks and other personal protective equipment in later stages and bring more than 2,000 new jobs to the area, with entry-level workers earning about $45,000 to $50,000 a year, he said.

Izhaky said United Safety Technology, which was founded in 2020, will move all of its manufacturing to Tradepoint Atlantic, the 3,300-acre manufacturing and logistics center in Sparrows Point that was once the site of the sprawling Bethlehem steel mill. The company previously made N95 masks in California.

“We found Baltimore to be a more attractive option because of the utilities and labor pool available,” said Izhaky, praising Tradepoint Atlantic.

He also noted access to a port, two railroad lines, and a highway.

Kerry Doyle, chief executive officer of Tradepoint Atlantic, said Wednesday was a memorable day.

“This is truly one of the most exciting announcements we’ve made at Tradepoint Atlantic,” said Doyle.

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United Safety Technology’s facility will help increase the US supply of gloves, 99% of which are made in Malaysia, China, Vietnam and Thailand, said Will Benton, the company’s chief commercial officer.

According to Benton, 55 to 60 billion pairs of nitrile gloves are used in the US market each year, but healthcare workers have struggled to get enough nitrile gloves during the pandemic, and at various times the cost of nitrile gloves has increased by seven or eight times that historical cost.

“It’s the first line of defense with all the doctors helping us every day,” Benton said of the nitrile glove. “It’s a bit like an unsung hero.”

Tinglong Dai, a professor at Johns Hopkins University and an expert on the medical supply chain, said he was grateful to hear America was investing again in manufacturing PPE.

“This is a national security issue, as illustrated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine,” Dai wrote in an email. “We cannot rely on countries that are our adversaries or that are far away to provide vital medical supplies during a public health crisis or war.”

Dai also noted that innovation and manufacturing often go hand in hand.

“N95 masks were developed in the US in the 1990s because we had ample manufacturing capacity at the time. Engineers, technicians, workers and production managers are usually located close to the point of manufacture,” he wrote. “We will eventually lose the ability to invent things when we lose the ability to make things.”

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