Manufacturing institutes donate PPE to Detroit community clinic

DETROIT—Two Detroit-based national manufacturing innovation organizations, LIFT, a national manufacturing consortium to study the use of lightweight materials, and the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation, have donated their supplies of personal protective equipment to the nearby Community Health and Social Services Center, a community health center at 5635 W. Fort Street in Detroit.

The donations included 300 pairs of safety glasses that fit over prescription glasses, 300 pairs of safety glasses that fit without prescription glasses, 1,400 nitrile gloves, and 60 Tyvek lab coats.

“This material will go a long way in keeping our staff safe as we fight this virus here in Southwest Detroit,” said Felix Valbuena, MD, CEO of the CHASS Center. “We appreciate both LIFT and IACMI and everything they and their networks are doing to keep our community safe and healthy.”

For the institutes, supporting community is part of their heritage as non-profit organizations themselves, particularly as the number of coronavirus cases in Detroit continues to rise.

“We are all in this fight together,” said Nigel Francis, LIFT chief executive officer and executive director. “Our national ecosystem of manufacturers is doing everything it can to develop everything from ventilators to masks in order to support the medical community. We wanted to make sure we were doing our part to support them locally.”

Added Ray Boeman, director of the IACMI Scale Up Research Facility: “We have been proud to be a part of  the Corktown neighborhood since we opened our doors in 2017, and now is a time for us all to come together to collectively support our community. IACMI, LIFT, and our partners are leveraging novel strategies to utilize our resources to support our nation, and we are glad to be able to stand with our Detroit community during this challenging time.”

Both institutes, LIFT, a Department of Defense partner, and IACMI, a Department of Energy partner, operate an applied research and development and educational facility in the Corktown neighborhood of Detroit. The institutes, public-private partnerships between government, industry and academia, are part of the larger Manufacturing USA network.

Along with the donation of PPE to the CHASS Center, LIFT is also 3D printing N95 masks and has connected members of its manufacturing ecosystem to the government and other manufacturers to assist in manufacturing critical supplies.

“The institutes were created to develop manufacturing ecosystems across the country,” Francis continued. “I am proud of how the manufacturing base across the nation is rallying in support of this national crisis.”

For more information on the institutes, visit LIFT at, and IACMI at

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