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New Norfolk Business Will Focus On Manufacturing Health Products

New Norfolk business will focus on manufacturing health products

New Norfolk business will focus on manufacturing health products

Gov. Glenn Younkin speaks at the ribbon-cutting event for new Norfolk health care product manufacturer Princo Wednesday. Business leaders and Gov. Glenn Youngkin reiterated their focus on reshoring health product capabilities at the ribbon-cutting for a new Norfolk business on Wednesday. Michael Alkie has a passion to reshore manufacturing he told the crowd of over 100 at the Princo facility. Alkie is the President and CEO of Premier LLC, and a graduate of Firestone High School in Akron — the founding city of the tire company of the same name. Roughly 30,000 families in the city, once known as the Rubber Capital of the World, relied on the industry where many jobs were lost in the late 1970s. The impacts of a lost industrial base can be found in how vulnerable the U.S. population became during the health crisis of the pandemic as the production of health-care products had been shipped overseas, according to Alkie. “We were caught flat-footed and we actually unnecessarily exposed our caregivers to the virus when we didn’t have the kind of PPE that was necessary,” he said. “We were way to dependent and way too reliant [on] Southeast Asia manufacturing,” primarily China. Princo will install three more of these machines this year to produce incontinence pads for over 4,400 health facilities across the country. Princo is a joint venture between Charlotte, North Carolina-based Premier Inc, a health care alliance of hospitals and providers; Caretrust LLC, a firm that helps bring health products to market; and Vario Labs LLC, a subsidiary of Premium PPE of Virginia Beach, a PPE manufacturer. The companies are investing nearly $24 million into the project. Inside Business Weekdays Business news for the Hampton Roads region By submitting your email to receive this newsletter, you agree to our Subscriber Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy . Youngkin complimented the uncommon partnership that has yielded the new 80,000-square-foot factory, which went from inception to production in 77 days, according to Brent Dillie, the CEO of Princo. “Today is an exciting example of watching collaboration, at the heart of that innovation, bring home manufacturing,” he said. Youngkin said Hampton Roads is uniquely positioned as a Naval, shipping and higher-learning hub to build on manufacturing capabilities. One machine had already been installed with three other lines planned for installation this year. The machine, sourced manufactured by Shanghai Zhilian Precision Machinery Co., combines four materials into incontinence pads. The facility will be able to produce over 300 million pads annually and will start providing these products to over 4,4000 health facilities across the country, according to Dillie. Ian Munro, 757-447-4709,

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Daisie Hobson

Daisie Hobson is a Director at the Reshoring Institute and an engineer with many years of experience in manufacturing and project management.

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