COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSYX) — Hundreds of jobs are coming to Grove City as a new Columbus company transforms a former warehouse into a factory for manufacturing latex-free disposable gloves.
American Nitrile announced Wednesday it has secured the funding needed to finalize the development of its 527,000-square-foot facility at 3500 Southwest Blvd. The company plans to produce 3.6 billion medical and non-medical gloves annually and create about 400 jobs, which include manufacturing workers and engineers.
“I feel proud and resilient for this country that we can bring this home,” American Nitrile founder and CEO Jacob Block, 29, said.
Block grew up in Bexley, studied political science at Ohio State University, and returned to Central Ohio after working several years in New York City. Block said he got the idea for the company during his time buying and reselling PPE as a broker earlier in the pandemic.
“We knew the supply chain had completely collapsed, and that we were sort of winging it,” Block explained. “I said, ‘How could a country like ours be so reliant on Asia for all of its devices, its medical devices, it's PPE?’ (It’s) such a simple product.”
Currently, more than 95% of global nitrile glove production happens overseas in Malaysia, China, Indonesia, and Thailand, according to company officials.
Block said American Nitrile’s facility will compete through state-of-the-art efficient manufacturing processes, automation, and a shorter supply chain for customers, reducing the wait time for glove orders.
The company’s motto is “Bringing Manufacturing Back Home.”
“I think the biggest thing we're doing here is building the blueprint to show other folks that you can sustainably and profitably produce and manufacture in the United States," Block said.
The company's latest funds of $105 million are coming from a partnership with Orion Infrastructure Capital. Additional funding has come from private investors and a $3.5 million grant through Jobs Ohio, according to company officials.
Block said sees a potential for growth past the pandemic in healthcare, hospitality and retail markets. He said he planned to keep hundreds of jobs at the facility even with plans for automation in the production process.
Production is scheduled to begin this summer.
You can apply online for jobs through American Nirtrile’s website.