Medical gloves, masks, and other PPE have never been so in-demand as they have the past two years, and soon the Port of Baltimore will be a central part of the industry.
United Safety Technology, Inc. (UST) announced last week that it will build a $350 million facility in Sparrows Point to manufacture nitrile gloves. The new facility will create more than 2,000 local jobs, says Maryland Governor Larry Hogan.
UST will build the plant at Tradepoint Atlantic, a global logistics center that stretches 3,300 acres and connects deep water port berths, roads, and railways. It has revived the former site of Bethlehem Steel with a growing number of industrial tenants.
UST will use 735,000 square feet to produce medical-grade nitrile exam gloves, a critical medical item in the pandemic era, when the supply chain has been tenuous at times.
“Our facility joins other projects around the country to bolster the resiliency of our healthcare supply chain, ensuring that medical essentials are available, affordable, and accessible no matter what forces or emergencies may influence global markets in the future,” says Dan Izhaky, UST’s CEO.
Synthetic nitrile gloves are used in hospitals, doctors’ offices, labs, and just about all other healthcare settings for hygiene and protection. Demand skyrocketed when COVID-19 arrived in 2020. The U.S. is the world’s largest market for nitrile gloves, but produces less than one percent of the world’s output. UST will produce 375 million units after production begins in early 2023.
“Bringing manufacturing back to America is not just good for business, but as the last two years
have taught us, it is critical to our national security,” said Kerry Doyle, Managing Director of
Tradepoint Atlantic. “Today, we are celebrating jobs and the expansion of manufacturing at
Sparrows Point, but we’re also celebrating the onshoring of PPE manufacturing to the United
The company announced the manufacturing news with hospital leaders and Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response.
UST received a $96.1 million Department of Defense contract last summer to expand domestic nitrile exam glove manufacturing, fueling the company’s expansion. They expect to employ more than 2,000 people in engineering, manufacturing, operations, logistics at the site by late 2024.
-Meg Walburn Viviano