Written by the EDC of Okaloosa County

Okaloosa County, Fla. (Sept 8, 2020) - American Elite Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), a newly-established enterprise stood up to address the dire need for U.S. manufactured materials for the personal protective equipment market in the United States, has selected Fort Walton Beach, Florida for its new operations.  A subsidiary of American Elite Molding, America’s leading manufacturer of cable ties, American Elite PPE will begin production of melt blown polypropylene, the critical filter medium used in medical grade face masks and gowns. 

The company has leased a 14,000 SF facility located at 161 Hill Avenue in the Fort Walton Beach Commerce & Technology Park. The Economic Development Council of Okaloosa County assisted American Elite PPE with identifying the required facility, finalizing local incentive agreements and securing regulatory approvals.  The announcement will result in 50 new jobs created over the next two years at 115% of Okaloosa County’s average wage – news that was celebrated by state and local leaders.

“We appreciate American Elite PPE’s innovation and agility,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “American-made products, originating from right here in Florida, will not only produce reliable, time-essential goods, but help us emerge from this economic downturn stronger than ever before.”

“Through these tough times, businesses are finding the competitive edge they need in Florida,” said Jamal Sowell, President & CEO of Enterprise Florida, Inc. “We are doubling down on our efforts to encourage expansion, production and support good paying jobs for the citizens of Florida.”

“I am happy to welcome American Elite PPE to the City of Fort Walton Beach. The company’s decision to locate in our city is evidence of our efforts to bring value to our business community and aligns with our vision and master plan for the Commerce and Technology Park. I am pleased to see continued investments in our city and look forward to more announcements like this in the future,” said Fort Walton Beach Mayor Dick Rynearson.

“Okaloosa County is proud to play a part in rebuilding American manufacturing right here in northwest Florida. The investment from American Elite PPE will benefit our community as a whole with high-paying jobs and help protect us from COVID-19,” said Okaloosa County Commission Chairman Trey Goodwin.

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the fact that the supply of materials used to make personal protective equipment comes primarily from offshore manufacturers, and the risks of that have become apparent as widespread delays, shortages, and quality issues have occurred. The key to highly effective masks and gowns is the layer of melt blown polypropylene. This material filters very small particles and organisms efficiently while allowing enough porosity to breathe easily. American Elite PPE is gaining U.S. control of this crucial product by investing in its own manufacturing facility and establishing a U.S.-based supply chain.

"No longer will China control the supply of this vitally important material. We believe that during this crisis, it’s vital for the U.S. to secure a reliable, sustainable source of PPE material supply for critical healthcare needs, and for Americans to buy from U.S. businesses to support our economy and our workers. This new initiative delivers on both counts,” said Bob Sires, Founder and CEO, American Elite Molding.

About American Elite PPE

American Elite PPE is America’s trusted manufacturing source for critical filter material, setting the standard for this vital material used in personal protective equipment. The company’s vision is to protect families, healthcare workers, first responders, and workers in industry with its American-made melt blown nonwoven polypropylene. American Elite PPE is proud to offer this critical filtering material made from raw materials produced in the United States, processed on equipment built in the United States and operated by American workers.

About American Elite Molding 

Celebrating its 22nd anniversary, American Elite Molding is the parent company of American Elite PPE and America’s leading manufacturer of nylon cable ties. Located in Crestview, Florida, its state-of-the-art ISO 9001-certified facility operates 24/7/365 and boasts the most advanced production processes in the U.S. AEM offers an extensive line of cable ties in a variety of lengths, tensile strengths, and colors, plus accessories such as mounting pads and cable clamps.

About EDC of Okaloosa County

Founded in 1989, the Economic Development Council of Okaloosa County (EDC) is a 501(c)6 non-profit, public-private partnership serving Okaloosa County, Florida and its nine municipalities. As the community’s lead economic development organization, the EDC is committed to fostering prosperity through economic diversification, military support and community development initiatives.  In addition to its public partners, the EDC enjoys broad support from more than 100 leading private sector businesses representing a wide range of industry sectors. 



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