Duo Form revives expansion plans in Edwardsburg

Published: Mar. 31, 2021 at 5:45 PM EDT
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EDWARDSBURG, Mich. (WNDU) - The economic COVID recovery continues in Edwardsburg.

Duo Form today broke ground on a 40,000 square foot plant expansion that had been shelved when the pandemic arrived.

Duo Form is mainly a supplier to the RV industry.

About this time last year, the company laid off 90-percent of its workforce. Company leaders vowed to put 110-percent into efforts to do something productive.

16 News Now visited the plant in April of 2020. In less than 72-hours, company leaders designed and began producing protective face shields.

“At the time, there was just ten of us sitting here in the conference room assembling them. As soon as we put it on Amazon, we were sort of dumbfounded watching the orders. We put it on on a Friday and then I was getting emails every 15 minutes of a new order,” said Duo Form President Shelly Ditmer.

The shields are still produced at the plant and sold online on Amazon and on the Duo Form web page.

At this point, Ditmer figures the company has cranked out more than a half-million. “Our local Beacon medical group has bought them for their staff, we know Penn High School has bought them, other schools within the community, but I mean, we shipped them to elementary schools all the way out to Hawaii.”

Duo Form’s in-your-face response to COVID 19 was one reason why the company was able to push ahead with its plant expansion plans.

That, plus the rapid recovery of the RV industry means that a lot of projects earlier delayed--will not be projects denied. “It’s booming right now and I would say by the end of, by the end of summer to early fall, all those contracts came back to the table and we’re moving on them now,” said Nuway Construction President Andy Nesbitt.

Duo Form now has 250-workers at its Edwardsburg plant—that’s about 33-percent more than the company had prior to the pandemic.

Face shields are expected to be a permanent part of the Duo Form product line. “It’s something that medical professionals need anyway, you know, despite COVID, they need it for basic everyday safety,” said Shelly Ditmer. “It’s just very exciting to be here. To be growing and knowing that we have a team, even if there’s some other hiccup that happens in the world, I feel confident we’ll figure out something to keep going.”

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