(WKRG) — Sen. Doug Jones wants Alabama to become a hub of manufacturing for healthcare equipment needed to face and fight COVID-19.
Jones has introduced legislation in the Senate that would provide incentives and tax breaks to ramp up production of personal protective equipment, or PPE: things like masks, face shields, and gowns. He says the U.S. is too dependent on foreign nations, especially China, for these items.
“We have to replenish the national stockpile,” Jones said. “We have to have more for not only health professionals, but for business and schools so it makes sense to do all that we can through tax incentives, and other things to get those jobs here in the United States.”
Jones says Alabama has a number of shuttered factories that could be repurposed, like the Goodyear facility in Gadsden, and a number of textile plants across the state that have closed over the last couple of decades.
“Those communities that have lost jobs over the last 10 to 15 years should be a prime target for getting business back,” Jones said.
Jones has asked Governor Kay Ivey to form a task force to look into the possibilities of healthcare equipment manufacturing in the state.