WASHINGTON — A Colebrook company that produces nitrile gloves has been awarded a $13.1 million defense contract. Company officials said the expansion of its medical glove manufacturing will create 300 jobs in the North Country.

U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, applauded the announcement that American Performance Polymers will receive a $13.1 million contract with the Department of Defense and the Department of Health and Human Services.

The funding is provided through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act passed by Congress and signed into law in December.

American Performance Polymers, known as APP, is owned by Renco Corporation and produces nitrile gloves, which are medical personal protective equipment that’s been critical during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In July, with assistance from Shaheen’s office, the Defense Department awarded a nearly $23 million contract to increase manufacturing of gloves for those on the frontlines. This announcement comes in addition to this previous funding and will allow APP to add two high-speed and six regular glove manufacturing equipment lines, which will increase glove production by 45.8 million gloves per month by July 2022.

“I’m thrilled APP will receive a new contract to boost production of gloves at their Colebrook facility, which will not only support our frontline workers but create additional, much-needed jobs in the North Country,” Shaheen said.

“Throughout this pandemic, we’ve seen how important it is to ensure that our health care workers, first responders and essential employees have access to the personal protective equipment they need to stay safe on the job," she continued. "To help Granite State manufacturers like American Performance Polymers ramp up production of these lifesaving supplies and ensure we’re prepared when disaster strikes, I’ve fought to bolster our domestic supply chain and will keep up those efforts to invest in American companies and prevent shortages of essential resources like we experienced at the onset of the pandemic."

Rich Renehan, president and CEO of Renco/American Performance Polymers, said: "Renco is honored to continue to expand US medical glove manufacturing at its Colebrook, New Hampshire facilities. With the continued support of Senator Shaheen's office, New Hampshire and the Buy America Act, Renco will create and sustain up to 300 jobs in Northern New England for decades to come. The highly dedicated workers of this region formulate long-lasting, comfortable 'Pilgrim' gloves that will help re-shore a critical industrial base that originated here in New England."

Shaheen has also worked to ensure the domestic supply chain has the means and resources needed to quickly manufacture and distribute critically needed supplies and equipment like PPE to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and other public health emergencies.

Shaheen joined a letter to President Joe Biden supporting his administration’s plan to quickly utilize all available authorities under the Defense Production Act (DPA) to rapidly increase the production and stockpiling of medical, testing and protective equipment supplies.

Shaheen has reintroduced her legislation to increase the amount of PPE and other national security related items it receives from American companies.

Earlier this year, Shaheen questioned Department of Defense officials on what Congress can do to support the domestic supply chain. Shaheen also urged the Acting Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency to improve their communication on the DPA with companies in New Hampshire and across the United States to ensure the federal government prioritizes American manufacturing.

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