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Ford Media Center
DEARBORN, Mich., Sept. 4, 2020 – Following completion of its 50,000th ventilator to help clinicians treat COVID-19 patients, Ford is pivoting to target production of 100 million masks through 2021 for communities across the U.S. with limited access to personal protective equipment. The company, currently manufacturing 2.5 million medical-grade masks a week for its employees and at-risk communities, is growing the number of mask-making machines by mid- to late-October to increase production and deliver on its goal.
Ford is working with Ford Motor Company Fund, the company’s philanthropic arm, to identify donation recipients across the U.S. through a network of nonprofit and state and local partners. The company is focusing on military veterans, schools, food banks and African American communities, among others.
“As the pandemic continues, so does the spirit, grit and dedication of our Ford team and UAW partners to step up and contribute to help our country,” said Jim Hackett, Ford president and CEO. “Working together, we’re setting a goal of producing 100 million masks for families, children, individuals and communities who need them most.”
This announcement comes ahead of a new short documentary by award-winning director Peter Berg (“Friday Night Lights,” “Patriots Day,” “Lone Survivor”) titled “On the Line.” Premiering on YouTube at 2 p.m. EDT today, the documentary focuses on Ford’s Project Apollo, the internal codename for the company’s all-out effort to design and manufacture personal protective equipment, including powered air-purifying respirators, face shields, medical gowns for healthcare workers and first responders, plus ventilators for COVID-19 patients.
Berg’s deep dive into the story features members of Ford’s Project Apollo team – from the engineers who led the project to the UAW team members who volunteered to work at the height of the pandemic.
To commemorate release of the documentary ahead of Labor Day, the Aspen Institute, as part of the “Aspen Ideas Now” virtual speaker series, will feature a conversation with Hackett, UAW President Rory Gamble and Berg, exploring the state of the American labor force, the importance of a strong automotive manufacturing base and the role American corporations can play in times of need. A trailer for the documentary is available now and can be found here and a link to today’s 2 p.m. Aspen conversation is here.
“Just weeks into the virus, with most people sheltering at home and so many lives on the line, the duty and sacrifice shown by the Ford team and UAW to put aside their personal concerns and go to work to provide what the country needed represented the absolute best of our country,” said Berg. “‘On the Line’ commemorates those heroic efforts and shows that no matter what challenges we may face, when we come together, we can do great things.”
“At a time when the virus was new and equipment was sparse, UAW members volunteered to go into the plants and make personal protective equipment that helped save lives,” said Gamble. “I could not be prouder of their commitment and dedication. Our UAW Ford members on Project Apollo and throughout the union have added a new chapter in our long history of serving our nation in dire times of need.”
Last week, Ford Motor Company Fund shipped 10 million face masks to the National Urban League, American Red Cross, Disabled American Veterans and other local organizations to protect against COVID-19.
Ford, in partnership with the UAW, has produced tens of millions of pieces of personal protective equipment to meet the enormous demand. Altogether, this amounts to:
Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) is a global company based in Dearborn, Michigan. The company designs, manufactures, markets and services a full line of Ford trucks, utility vehicles, and cars – increasingly including electrified versions – and Lincoln luxury vehicles; provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company; and is pursuing leadership positions in electrification; mobility solutions, including self-driving services; and connected vehicle services. Ford employs approximately 186,000 people worldwide. For more information regarding Ford, its products and Ford Motor Credit Company, please visit corporate.ford.com.
Peter Berg is a director, producer, actor, and founder of Film Forties, a production company specializing in creating scripted, unscripted and branded entertainment.
Under his scripted entertainment banner, Film 44, Peter has written and directed feature films such as Friday Night Lights (2004), Deepwater Horizon (2016), Patriots Day (2016), and Mile 22 (2018). Berg is also known for creating the television adaptation of his feature film Friday Night Lights. Through Film 45 (unscripted entertainment) and Film 47 (commercial / branded entertainment), Peter is responsible for projects ranging from Super Bowl commercials to documentaries and docu-series across a wide array of viewing platforms.
The Aspen Institute is a global nonprofit organization committed to realizing a free, just, and equitable society. Founded in 1949, the Institute drives change through dialogue, leadership, and action to help solve the most important challenges facing the United States and the world. Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Institute has a campus in Aspen, Colorado, and an international network of partners. For more information, visit www.aspeninstitute.org.