John Deere, in collaboration with the United Automobile Workers, the Iowa Department of Homeland Security and the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association, is producing protective face shields at John Deere Seeding Group in Moline, Illinois. 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.
Materials 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,” says John May, CEO of Deere & Company. “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.
The production of protective face shields is one of many initiatives the company and its employees have executed in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Efforts in the U.S. have included the following:
- PPE donations to health care facilities
- 2:1 employee match program encouraging donations to local food banks and the American Red Cross
- Production of about 18,000 protective face shields for use by factory employees
- Employee volunteerism efforts to sew cloth masks for community members along with a match from the John Deere Foundation for the time invested in this volunteer activity
- Launch of a COVID-19 innovations site to share open-source specifications for related projects, including 3D-printed clips to affix face shields to protective bump caps