Prestige Ameritech is turning a former Kimberly-Clark surgical mask factory into a Global Pandemic Preparedness and Response Center. The vacant 222,000-square-foot facility, located on 17 acres in North Richland Hills, TX, will reopen in late January when it will help supply U.S. hospitals with their normal supply of masks and respirators and also help the U.S. and other countries build stockpiles of surgical masks and N95 respirator masks for use during the H1N1 and future pandemics.
Many of Prestige Ameritech's 200 employees once worked at the facility under K-C ownership. K-C closed the site in 2006 when many U.S.-based mask makers discontinued domestic production. Prestige Ameritech hopes to add another 200 jobs to the site within the next few years.
“Prestige Ameritech will provide the U.S. healthcare systems with a secure, high quality American-made surgical mask and respirator supply that cannot be diverted by foreign health agencies during global emergencies,” said Dan Reese, Prestige Ameritech’s founder and CEO.