John Deere, in collaboration with United Auto Workers (UAW), the Iowa Department of Homeland Security and the Illinois Manufacturers' Association, has started producing protective face shields at John Deere Seeding Group in Moline, Illinois.
According to the company, Deere employees will initially produce 25,000 face shields to meet the immediate needs of health-care workers in several of its U.S. manufacturing communities.
In a statement, John Deere officials said aaterials and supplies are on order to produce an additional 200,000 face shields.
The company is using an open-source design from the University of Wisconsin-Madison for the project and leveraging expertise, skills, and innovation of its employee base.
"Our manufacturing and supply management teams, along with our production and maintenance employees, the UAW, and our partners have worked tirelessly to ensure we could lend our support and protect our health-care workers during this crisis," said Chief Executive Officer, Deere & Company, John May.
"By working closely with the communities where our employees live and work, we can help support the needs we've identified close to home and, as the project expands, address additional, urgent needs across the country."
John Deere Seeding Group employees are supporting the special project and are utilizing extensive and robust safety measures adopted across the company to safeguard employees.
"This is a very proud day for the UAW and our UAW members," said Rory L. Gamble, UAW President. "I want to recognize the hard work that Secretary-Treasurer and Agriculture Implement Department Director Ray Curry and Region 4 Director Ron McInroy contributed to this effort. This included working to put the necessary health and safety provisions in place for our members to begin manufacturing critically-needed face shields for the health-care workers who are on the front lines of this crisis saving lives. We are especially proud of the courageous UAW members who are stepping up to do this critical work."