NFFS and Watry Industries Partner to Provide PPE to the Foundry Industry


While many states are considering the timing with which to partially reopen their economies, many of these same states are now requiring employees to wear face coverings while at work. For example, the states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, and Wisconsin are mandating the use of face masks for workers in open essential industries. The face masks, when used in conjunction with social distancing, provide a minimal level of protection from COVID-19 transmission, according to the CDC. However, N-95 respirators and surgical type dust masks are in short supply and can be difficult to locate and purchase at a reasonable price. This has been an ongoing problem for employers, and not just in our industry. Foundries are competing with virtually every other industry, including first responders and the medical community, in trying to obtain safety supplies for their workers and with limited success.

In mid-April, NFFS became aware of one foundry’s existing supply chain for 3-pleat surgical-type dust masks. Jason Dannenberg, President of Watry Industries and Premier Aluminum (both are Ligon Companies), contacted NFFS to let us know that their companies had access to a significant quantity of dusts masks available from their supplier, and wanted to know how they could help NFFS to help others in the industry. Grateful for their offer of assistance, NFFS happily said yes and agreed to work with Watry to make these items available to the NFFS membership.
Last week, NFFS issued an email to its members advising them on the availability of these dust masks. In just over five days, NFFS and Watry Industries have taken orders to provide over 60,000 disposable face masks to nearly two dozen NFFS member foundries who were out of dust masks and needed the supplies to safely continue operations. 

Regarding the distribution program, NFFS Executive Director Jerrod Weaver said: “This is a great example of how an industry and its trade association can work collaboratively to ensure all employers have the critical supplies they need to protect their workers. Without the generosity of Watry Industries, and the hard work by Jason Dannenberg and his team, there would be many non-ferrous foundries without the critical PPE supplies they need to operate safely.” 

Mr. Weaver continued, “Watry Industries exemplifies what it means to be a good corporate citizen. Their willingness to help others, even their own competitors, to remain open and operating safely represents the very best of the American spirit. I would like to thank Jason Dannenberg, Watry Industries, Premier Aluminum and the entire Ligon group of companies for their leadership and their commitment to help protect all workers in our industry.”

Additional quantities of the masks are available to NFFS members at through May 15th, or contact a NFFS staff member at (847) 299-0950 for personal assistance.