A manufacturing facility in Fayette is set to become the largest creator of single-use nitrile gloves in the country following a $35 million expansion of their West Alabama plant.

SHOWA, who opened the Fayette facility in 1972, first began manufacturing nitrile gloves in 1991. They produce more than 400 million gloves every year, but expect to triple that number by the end of next year thanks to the new expansion.

The six-story, 40,000 square foot facility was announced in 2019, and the demand for nitrile gloves and other single-use personal protective equipment has only skyrocketed since then due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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With two new high-speed monorail lines already in operation and the construction of two more underway, SHOWA anticipates the Fayette facility will be producing 1.2 billion gloves annually by the end of 2022.

Richard Heppell, SHOWA's President and Chief Operations Officer for the Americas, said the plant expansion will have a huge impact on West Alabama's workforce and better equip first responders across the nation as they continue to combat the coronavirus.

“This is a big moment for Fayette, Alabama, as we safeguard America’s supply of critical PPE,” Heppell said. “Our U.S. workers can take pride in the fact that they’re producing superior gloves to protect their fellow Americans.”

The Fayette community will also benefit from the expansion -- the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs granted the city $500,000 to repair infrastructure to further incentivize SHOWA's growth in the area.

Last but certainly not least, the expansion of the plant means job creation. According to a SHOWA press release, the company is currently hiring for 80 new positions inside the Fayette plant.

"Our Fayette expansion offers an amazing opportunity to work in a cutting-edge manufacturing facility with a positive company culture and great benefits," the company said on their website. "SHOWA Group has been a fixture in the Fayette community for more than 50 years, and we want you to join us for the next exciting growth chapter."

For more information, check out SHOWA's Careers page here. 

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