CADILLAC — The U.S. Department of Defense recently approved a $49 million contract with Avon Protection Systems in Cadillac to make mask systems and spare components for the Army.
According to an announcement recently issued by the Army, the contract is for the exact amount of $49,621,502.09.
Avon Protection Systems is a world leader in producing respiratory protective equipment.
"We have been supplying respirators to the UK Ministry of Defense and other NATO allies since the 1920’s and we are the primary supplier of CBRN respiratory equipment to all United States Department of Defense Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Special Operations Forces," reads a statement on the Avon Protection Systems website.
Mike Hamner, Avon site leader, said the $49 million contract with the DOD is the culmination of substantial efforts they've undertaken to consolidate a series of smaller work orders into one.
He said in this sense, the contract is simply a continuation of the "core" products they've been producing for some time in Cadillac.
That being said, Hamner said approval of the contract is great news and secures the near-term future of the company.
"This helps us see the next five years," Hamner said.
Since the contract is essentially a renewal of what they've already been doing, Hamner said it won't be necessary for them to increase their workforce or expand their facilities.
Hamner said during the peak of the coronavirus spread in Michigan, when many factories were shut down per the Stay Home, Stay Safe order, they remained pretty busy manufacturing masks for various first responder agencies.
He said these orders kept their production lines open six or seven days a week during the shutdown and he doesn't see them slowing down anytime soon.