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Puritan Medical Supplies expands to Pittsfield

Puritan Medical Supplies is expected to open its new Pittsfield facility in early July. Puritan makes testing swabs, including some for COVID-19.

PITTSFIELD, Maine — President Donald Trump was in Maine on Friday to visit Puritan Medical Supplies' facility in Guilford.

The plant has been very busy during the pandemic making swabs. Puritan was able to do this expansion thanks to some money from the federal Defense Production Act.

Now, Puritan will be able to make more medical supplies, Puritan is expanding from the location in Guilford, to the town of Pittsfield which is about half an hour south.

For the people of Pittsfield, this is exciting news.

"Everybody is extremely excited," town manager Kathryn Ruth said.

That's because there are 250 jobs coming to Pittsfield when Puritan Medical Supplies opens its doors.

Puritan makes medical swabs, including COVID-19 testing swabs.

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Puritan Executive Vice-President Timothy Templet was unavailable on Thursday but spoke with NEWS CENTER Maine earlier this year about its product.  

He said Puritan manufactures three different types of testing swabs and the new Pittsfield facility will be making 40-45 million swabs a month.

"To be able to have those jobs coming back into Pittsfield is really important for the downtown area," Pittsfield mayor, Heather Donahue said.

The downtown area has been struggling since United Technologies Center downsized, eventually shutting down its facility in Pittsfield in March 2015.

"It was devastating for the area," Ruth said.

Donahue and Ruth both said a lot of people here had to begin traveling to get to other jobs in other cities and towns. But with Puritan coming to Pittsfield it is bringing jobs back with it.

"Every business you add to a town improves the vitality of the downtown area," Donahue said.

Good for the Pittsfield economy but also, "we get to be part of the effort to fight COVID-19," Ruth added.

A big enough part to attract the President of the United States to come visit and tour the plant.

"I think it's good for Maine in it gives us an opportunity to really shine and to show what rural Maine is all about," Donahue said.

This project is getting the help of other Maine companies... Cianbro is working on the construction to get the facility up and running.

And Bath Iron Works is working with the machines that pack the swabs.

The facility is expected to open in early July.

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At NEWS CENTER Maine, we’re focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the illness. To see our full coverage, visit our coronavirus section, here: www.newscentermaine.com/coronavirus

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