BROOKVILLE — Two local firms have come together to aid each other during the coronavirus pandemic.

Guardian Healthcare of Brockway reached out Brookville Glove following the mandatory shutdown order from Gov. Tom Wolf last week. Brookville Glove is considered an apparel manufacturer and was preparing to close down.

By Saturday they were operating again, and had workers making medical masks that are in short supply. Due to the national shortage of personal protective equipment, healthcare providers have turned to alternative methods to meet the demand. Guardian wanted to help keep local people employed while trying to meet some of their personal demand.

Brookville Glove Plant Manager Emily Walker said she got the call at 10 a.m. about making a prototype. She and her team then worked for five hours with Guardian’s corporate team to create a mask that worked.

Once a design was confirmed, company president Brian Dougherty worked for hours to make changes to machines to make masks.

“It’s funny how things work out. We’re extremely grateful Guardian thought to reach out to us, and extremely grateful for the staff we have here to make it happen,” Walker said.

The plant is currently working hard to fulfill Guardian’s order of 20,000 masks, and have been receiving additional orders since making the announcement about the change.

Barmi Akbar, CEO of Guardian Healthcare, commended the team at Brookville Glove for working overtime to ensure the masks are delivered to the caregivers who need them.

“This partnership is a great example of neighbors caring for neighbors,” Akbar said.

Not only had Guardian helped to keep the local employees at work with their request, but they opened the door for more jobs and orders to be fulfilled as well.

Brookville Glove is now hiring for a second shift to help meet the demand for masks. They are making daily deliveries toward the 20,000 total for Guardian, and preparing to fulfill the additional orders coming in.

“The phones have been nonstop, and I mean that literally from the time we get here at 7 a.m. until we leave here at 4 p.m.” Walker said.

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