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'We’re helping people in a different way' | Greensboro company transforms operation to make PPE

Apple Rock in Greensboro went from a display company to making masks, gowns and face shields to protect front line workers during the pandemic.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — The coronavirus pandemic has changed everyday operations not only for the average person, but large companies too. 

Apple Rock, based in Greensboro, has been creating event marketing to bring companies together for 32 years. 

But for the first time this year, the company was tasked with something new: making personal protective equipment. 

"It transformed very quickly on March 4," said CEO Eric Burg, "Pretty much every event in March, April, May, a little bit of June canceled or postponed to the third or fourth quarter."

The company heard the plea from the state for more PPE, and got to work. 

"We knew that we had great sewers, great materials, we have a very talented staff," said Burg, "We used the materials that we used in trade shows and we immediately understood that it was what was needed for the protection of people here in the United States." 

The company is making face masks, gowns, face shields, acrylic barriers, hand sanitizer stations, and portable beds. 

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The very first shipment from Apple Rock was sent to New York City.

"It was a logical opportunity meets preparation scenario," said Burg. 

Senior Project Manager Adrienne Gibson said she never expected to start making PPE when she first started working at the company about three years ago. 

"It is very fulfilling to know that we are actually helping whoever needs these supplies," said Gibson, "Knowing that we’ve sent stuff, face shields to New York for a client up there who really needed them."

Gibson said her mother works in the medical field, so she knows how big of a need there is for PPE.

"I love that we’ve been able to come up with these ideas and make it happen. Everyone here is pitching in and they are not afraid to lend a hand wherever is needed," said Gibson.

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Burg said the company is making over 200 face shields per day, hundreds of face masks, and 5,000 to 8,000 gowns per week. 

"We’ve been working with hair salons and restaurants, all sorts of businesses doing acrylic barriers so that you can protect and have sneeze guards, protective barriers so that people up for re-officing and coming back to work have protection," said Burg. 

Apple Rock has over 60 employees working to produce PPE right now, according to Burg. 

The company has also sent personal protective equipment to South Carolina and Virginia. 

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