eTC_Industry_Champ_American_Textile_Work

Colin Queeley

Production manager

Apex Mills, Inwood, N.Y.

 

When did you start in the textile industry? 2011

 

What is your background?

I have over 25 years of experience in manufacturing, production/project management and procurement. Much of my experience was in the manufacturing of electronics until I moved into the textile industry about 10 years ago. This has provided a new perspective on the various types of fabrics and the many applications where they are used. I love that Apex Mills has given me the opportunity to continually learn and grow my skills.

 

What types of products does your company specifically produce and what types of end products are they used in?

Our company produces warp knit technical textiles for commercial and industrial use. We have made fabrics used in various industries, including medical, military, automobile, aeronautics, filtration and office furniture, to name a few. Needless to say, we cover a broad spectrum of industries.

 

What does your job mean to you, your family and your community?

It has been rewarding, as well as educational. Being a part of this industry has made me and my family proud. During our travels, I would reflect on the fact that some of the materials used in manufacturing the planes we were sitting in include Apex Mills fabrics. I point out all the plane’s components that use our fabric and take pride that I played a role in the process. I am particularly honored knowing that what I do helps to support our military and medical professionals.

 

What is your role in producing PPE products or inputs for these products for your company?

During COVID-19, we began making PPE products to help protect the general public. My role encompasses planning the manufacturing process and ensuring that the fabric delivered is of high quality and received on time.

 

How does it feel to have your company step up to address the PPE shortage during the pandemic?

I give our owner, Jonathan Kurz, credit for being proactive at the start of the pandemic. He gathered the team to look at ways we could provide support, even before being asked. We were able to transition quickly and began making masks for the Cleveland Clinic and then for the general public. It makes me proud to be part of a team that steps up to support people in a time of need.

 

Why is it important for textiles to be made/cut and sewn and/or finished in America?

 I think it’s important because it not only means that jobs are created in America, but we can count on better quality and accountability. We stand by what we make.

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Apex Mills' efforts

 

At the outset of the coronavirus pandemic, when PPE was in short supply, the Cleveland Clinic turned to Apex Mills to quickly develop reusable general-purpose face masks for their non-medical professionals. Bolstered by the success of that program, Apex Mills decided that the best way to help during this crisis was to pivot production to mask making.

 

Its team's nimbleness and the support of its suppliers helped produce hundreds of thousands of face masks. We feel privileged to be a part of an industry that can support and serve the public.

 

“Our company has been committed to solving problems for over 75 years,” said Jonathan Kurz, president and CEO of Apex Mills. “During this pandemic, when manufacturers are being called upon to pivot production and make equipment that is most needed in the marketplace, we are committed to help. The unity and ‘can-do’ attitude from our team along with the cooperation we’ve received from our development and manufacturing partners is truly heartwarming. We are grateful to all involved for coming together so quickly and sharing their expertise. It’s an honor to be part of an industry that can support and serve the public.”

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