Employees build 400,000 face shields for healthcare workers

Deere manufactured 400,000 face shields to donate to frontline workers

Jerry Miller, UAW production worker for John Deere

Jerry Miller sees the work he’s doing as the difference between life and death.

He is one of 30 employees at Deere’s Seeding facility in Moline, Ill., who built face shields — 400,000 in all. The shields are being donated to those on the frontlines of the fight against the coronavirus.

“To me, it’s my patriotic duty to help out our country, especially those on the front lines,” says Miller, a 22-year veteran of Deere. “I don’t want someone to lose a spouse, a partner, a child or a parent…I’ll do anything in my power to make sure that doesn’t happen.”

Where are the shields going?

  • Hospitals
  • Health departments
  • Schools
  • Nursing homes
  • Police departments

Making a Difference

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, Deere employees have sought ways to help others. Jose Martinez is on a team at Moline Seeding that is helping build face shields for healthcare workers.

What others are saying:

“It’s been a massive collaborative effort — from procuring supplies to setting up a production process — to get the face shield project quickly off the ground. We’ve had people both inside the factory as well as outside the factory. We were able to engage both our UAW and IAM workforce to come up with creative, innovative solutions to how we were going to put these together.”

Brad Russmann – Moline Seeding Group factory manager

“There’s a huge need. We’re all at risk, and some specialties are more at risk. So, all of us are looking for extra PPE [Personal Protective Equipment]. If a [PPE item] runs out or breaks down, we have it readily available.”

Afzal Erik Abdullah  – a vascular surgeon who helped Deere test prototypes of the face shield

“The project came together. We’re rolling right along and are very proud of everything being done.”

Heather Keag – president UAW Local 434