Many Missouri manufacturers are harnessing their innovative spirit to help fill an important need during the COVID-19 era. Distilleries are fixing sanitizer. Several companies are churning out face masks and gowns. Plastic makers are crafting face shields. Signage businesses are producing sneeze guards.

Not all items have met medical standards, but their efforts can still serve a purpose. Amy Susan with Missouri Enterprise says that’s how a new directory was born – one showcasing the entrepreneurial enthusiasm of these companies.

“This effort really epitomizes the ingenuity and heart of manufacturing. That’s what should be celebrated,” she says. “Throughout all the darkness and unfortunate situation we are in, it’s a great time to celebrate what the manufacturing community is doing. This is just a secondary directory to fill a different need.”

While searching for other similar avenues, Susan says she wasn’t finding much out there.

“What we weren’t seeing was a platform for companies to really feature some of their products that are not necessarily intended for the medical community but provide an avenue for them to sell to other consumers to help us protect ourselves,” Susan says.

So far, about 54 Missouri companies are listed on the directory.

“The majority of these folks have the necessary equipment. They may just have to source different materials or change patterns. It’s a modification that they’ve been able to make,” Susan says. “Some of them, there may be some sustainability for these additional products to be added to their portfolio.”

Missouri Enterprise – a state manufacturing organization – is also offering to help manufacturers during the pandemic.

“We have a dozen experts on hand that are working around the clock to answer calls, guide them, provide expertise, or if it’s looking at a new product, or accelerated training to get them transitioned from making the medical-grade carts to shields. We are here. We are here to help manufacturers navigate this COVID crisis,” she says.

The directory can be found here.

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