KOKOMO, Ind. (WLFI)- General Motors is now manufacturing critical care ventilators that will be added to the Strategic National Stockpile and distributed to hospitals in need. In just three short weeks, General Motors was able to transform its Kokomo plant operations.
"It really just shows that when you have teams that are motivated and committed to a cause you can do incredible things and the team in Kokomo is doing some incredible work," said Dan Flores a spokesperson for GM.
GM received a contract from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to produce 30,000 ventilators. Ventec the company that makes critical care ventilators needed help manufacturing the large number which is why General Motors got involved.
"Ventech has been in business for years and they build a great product,” added Flores. “They needed some manufacturing and purchasing help so they could scale up production of their critical care ventilators beyond the point that they could do on their own."
While the ventilators will help saves thousands of lives, the company is also providing around 1,000 jobs for people in the area.
"The first groups of people that we brought back in were Kokomo employees that had been laid off,” said Flores. In addition, we canvassed the Marion Indiana workforce for volunteers and when I say volunteers they are paid, volunteers."
Each volunteer employee had to go through new training to be able to build the ventilators. The Kokomo staff has experience building electronic components which are one of the reasons GM chose to use the Kokomo plant for producing the equipment.
"When we were looking for plants that we could build ventilators at Kokomo rose to the top based on available capacity at the facility and the experience of the workforce it just made sense," added Flores.
Without that workforce manufacturing these lifesaving machines manufacturing them wouldn't be possible.
"We couldn't be doing this without the volunteers that are willing to come in and build these products for our country,” added Flores. “We appreciate their commitment."
The company says they will have the capacity to build more ventilators once they manufacture the initial 30,000 but at this time making those initial 30,000 ventilators is their priority. For more information on the manufacturing of the ventilators click here.