Catalyst Fabric Solutions has added 125 additional jobs to its Marianna location since early April and is still hiring more, according to Catalyst Director of Operations Jim King.
The growing number has far exceeded what the company had first projected.
After receiving certification from the Food and Drug Administration to produce personal protective gear, like gowns and masks, in the attempt to help protect people from contracting COVID-19, the company had announced plans to hire 50-75 individuals to handle the orders. But the company is on its way to doubling the high end of that initial estimate, producing isolation gowns and also cloth face coverings in the fight against COVID-19.
“Catalyst Fabric Solutions has been a first-rate employer in the Marianna Commerce Park since 2018, and we’re glad that Jackson County has been able to provide the workforce necessary for their growth,” said Jackson County Economic Development Committee Chairman Darwin Gilmore in a press release this week. “I look forward to seeing the opportunities that this expansion will create for our hardworking residents and continuing to build on our strong relationships with great businesses like Catalyst.”
Established in 2018, Catalyst Fabric Solutions is a vertical manufacturer of a variety of textile-based products in the home furnishing and apparel categories. Headquartered in Marianna, this mission expansion will result in Catalyst Fabric Solutions employing more than 275 when the new production line is complete, the release stated.
“Catalyst Fabric Solution values our partnership with the Jackson County Economic Development Committee, City of Marianna, Chipola College and CareerSource Chipola which allows us to grow and expand our business,” King said in the release. “We are especially appreciative of these partners for doing everything in their power to keep us in the State of Florida and in Jackson County. This expansion will ensure our presence in Jackson County for many years to come.”
New job opportunities include sewers, operators, and packers. Individuals interested in career prospects are encouraged to visit Catalyst Fabric Solutions Human Resources Department at 3595 Industrial Park Drive or CareerSource Chipola for additional information.
“Catalyst Fabric Solutions, under the leadership of Chuck Smith, continues to be a success story in Marianna and Jackson County. This company’s dedication to our community is appreciated,” said JCEDC Director of Business Development Zach Gilmore. “I want to commend Jim King and the rest of the Catalyst Team on obtaining their FDA Certification in such a timely manner which has allowed them to play an important role in the fight against COVID-19 and provided needed jobs. I look forward to continuing to partner with our local leaders to spur economic growth in Jackson County.”
“I am pleased to announce this expansion of one of our great local industries. Catalyst Fabric Solutions has continued to grow and invest in Jackson County as they manufacture home furnishings that is shipped all over North America from Marianna, Florida,” said Marianna City Manager Jim Dean. “This has truly been a team effort working with the Jackson County Economic Development Committee to help Catalyst Fabric Solutions maintain and grow jobs here in our community. We couldn’t be more proud of this expansion and of this company.”
King had, in early April, confirmed an FDA certification and plans to make certain protective gear for fighting COVID-19. He said then that the company was looking at that time for 50-75 full- and part-time employees to make masks and gowns. He expected at that point to make roughly 60,000 pieces a week to fill orders. King said workers are now making more than 100,000 a week.
He said in April that the company had been working on prototypes for about three weeks and, having obtained the necessary certification to manufacture certain types of masks and gowns, was poised at that time to get into production soon. With it now well underway, a ramp-up continues as demand remains. Getting more workers on the job is the big task now.