News continues to circulate about companies and individuals stepping up to aid those fighting on the front lines of the novel coronavirus pandemic. Many leading this charge are MSU alumni who are acting in the “Spartans Will” spirit by standing together and being resourceful to overcome this challenge.
Carhartt, a Michigan-based apparel company, is shifting its manufacturing operations to produce 2.5 million medical masks and 50,000 gowns for critical workers. Linda Hubbard (B.A. Accounting ’82), Carhartt’s president and COO, sheds light on the company’s decision to respond.
“Since Carhartt was founded in 1889, we have been committed to serving and protecting hardworking people,” Hubbard said. “Answering the call during times of need has always been an integral part of Carhartt’s history. In fact, Carhartt facilities were retooled in World War I to produce khaki goods for American troops and again in World War II to manufacture jungle suits for the Marines. It’s why consumers have trusted us to have their back for more than 130 years.”
Hubbard shared that Carhartt is especially committed to serving the communities in which it is present. “Our current focus is on Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee,” she said. “However, we will continue to manufacture PPE products as long as a demand remains, so we expect to include additional states in the coming months.”
Carhartt has entirely dedicated its facilities in the United States and Mexico to help with the effort, halting the production of any new inventory. In addition, Hubbard shared that the company’s retail stores have been temporarily closed and associates who can work from home are doing so.
“We have not lost sight of our core consumer and are committed to having the products they need, when they need them,” Hubbard said. “We are still shipping orders from Carhartt.com and from our wholesale partners who are considered essential businesses. We are planning our inventory to ensure we are well positioned to meet current and future demand … All things considered, Carhartt associates are as productive as ever in these challenging times.”
In true Spartan fashion, Hubbard shared this advice for others during this uncertain time: “These are challenging times for all of us, and not yet knowing what our new normal will be leaves many questions. However, if anyone can weather this storm, Spartans Will.”
Hubbard is just one example of the many Broad Spartan alumni who are standing together to make a difference in this critical time, serving as an inspiration for all Spartans to reach higher and persevere together.