Coronacast 12: Mary

Did you know that Rhode Island companies manufacture materials and components for medical equipment? Everything from fabric and nose stays to elastics and screws are made in our small state.

“That’s a very Rhode Island thing,” says Mary Johnson. “We make a lot of very small parts, but when you put the parts together, you can make things.”

Mary is manager of the 401 Tech Bridge with Polaris MEP. She works to connect manufacturers with each other, within Rhode Island and outside.

Mary spoke with me about how many Rhode Island manufacturers mobilized to protect their own employees and respond to the health sector’s needs during COVID-19. She’s been working with a robust network of companies to deepen the supply chain nationally for personal protective equipment (PPE).

One of the things I appreciate most about Mary is how thoughtful she is about the impact of economic trends and decisions on people. While automation is likely to increase as a response to this pandemic, she cautions, “We need to be careful and find a way to support the people who may get lost in that transition.”

You can tell: It’s personal to Mary, and she’s bringing her whole human self to this moment. “I’m going to go everyday, and just try to be chin up, and do the best I can.” A woman after my own heart.

Thank you, Mary and Polaris, for keeping us working.