Warsaw Factory Pivots In The Coronavirus War

Judy Kramer
County Reporter
Stanbury Uniforms, Inc. has three factories in Missouri, including one in Warsaw that employs about 40 local people. Although the company has been making uniforms for 100 years in the state, COVID-19 recently caused company leadership to add homemade style face masks to its productions to donate to the medical community and first responders. 
“A hospital near our headquarters in Brookfield, Missouri, contacted us and asked if we could make face masks for its personnel,” said Steve Roberts, General Manager of Stanbury. “It isn’t easy to change to a new type of product, but our whole company of 205 employees was willing to do it and we have made thousands of them at the same time that we produced band uniforms.”
Roberts said that the face masks are cut out in the Brookfield plant and then sent to Warsaw to be sewn. However, on April 3, Linn County, where Stanbury is headquartered, put a Stay At Home order into place that will be effective until April 24, effectively shutting down all three Stanbury plants.
“I love the way Americans have pulled together to do what they can for each other in light of the hardships imposed by COVID-19,” said Roberts. “And as soon as this temporary shut-down is lifted, we will be back at work making face masks as well as our uniforms.”
Roberts said that the facemasks are not considered official personal protective equipment (PPE), but can be used for personal protection. The masks have three layers and are 100 percent washable polyester/cotton. Head of Operations, Carlos Rivera, said that cords that are used on band uniforms are used to tie the face masks to the head, and twist ties are sewn into the mask to hold it to the nose.
Richard Killen is Production Superintendent at the Warsaw plant. He has been in that position since June 2019.
“It is not easy to change our facility to make something different than we usually make, but we were glad to do it,” said Steve Roberts, General Manager of Stanbury Uniforms, Inc. “We were recently making the masks at the same time we were making band uniforms.”
Roberts says that they have been donating the masks to those who want or need them such as the police department in Brookfield, plus medical facilities. The factories have made thousands.