GOJO, Maker of Purell, Hiring at Cuyahoga Falls, Wooster Plants Due to Increased Demand Because of Coronavirus

GOJO, Maker of Purell, Hiring at Cuyahoga Falls, Wooster Plants Due to Increased Demand Because of Coronavirus

(March 17, 2020) Akron, Ohio -- While some people are out of work and businesses are temporarily closed due to coronavirus concerns and restrictions, Akron-based company GOJO Industries is trying to hire employees to help meet the demand for Purell and other sanitizers.

GOJO is seeking workers to ramp up production at its plants on Lippman Parkway near State Road in Cuyahoga Falls and on Akron Road in Wooster, according to a company spokeswoman. The spokeswoman declined to say how many positions they are seeking to fill, or how many jobs will be temporary.

Anyone interested in applying should visit GOJO.com or call 330-255-6500 and ask for “integrity staffing.”

GOJO, which currently has about 2,500 employees, produces hand sanitizers, soaps and cleaning supplies with brands including Purell and Provon. The company invented Purell hand sanitizer in 1988.

In a statement, GOJO CEO Carey Jaros said the company has seen a “dramatic increase" in demand of Purell products since the World Health Organization declared a coronavirus pandemic on March 11, and President Donald Trump declared it a national emergency.

GOJO had already ramped up production when the virus started making international headlines in January, but Jaros said the recent surge is "above and beyond what we had experienced.

“As part of our demand preparedness planning, we typically hold excess inventory and maintain the ability to increase production several times greater than typical demand,” Jaros said. “Our manufacturing facilities are operating around the clock to produce many millions of bottles and refills - which amounts to many billions of uses - of Purell products each day. We are continuing to work to increase our capacity even further to meet this dramatic expansion in demand.”

Jaros said supplies are prioritized for health-care facilities and first responders, and then distributed to retailers to provide a supply to schools, restaurants, airports and other customers.

“I know many people are asking, ‘When will I see Purell hand sanitizer on retail shelves again?’” Jaros said. “We can tell you we are shipping Purell products to retailers every single day. Consumers are buying out these products as soon as they hit shelves, which is amplifying the sense of shortage.”

After a story titled “He Has 17,700 Bottles of Hand Sanitizer and Nowhere to Sell Them” published Saturday in The New York Times and sparked outrage online, the Tennessee Attorney General’s Office opened a price-gouging investigation into the man involved, who has since said he would donate the supplies to charity.

Jaros said GOJO supports stores that limit how many products one customer can buy, and discourages hoarding and price gouging.

“We don’t sell product directly to consumers or set retail prices, but like many of you, we have seen and been upset by the price gouging around our products,” Jaros said. “This goes directly against our GOJO Value of Caring for Ourselves and Others, and we feel strongly that there is no place for it. We support all efforts to stop this practice.”

GOJO Industries faces several lawsuits over its marketing of the effectiveness of the Purell products. According to a lawsuit filed in federal court Friday on behalf of customers in California, Massachusetts, Michigan and Oregon, the company’s labeling and marketing - including that its Purell Advanced Hand Sanitizer “kills 99.9% of illness-causing germs” - is misleading and constitutes false advertising.

The claims echo concerns raised in a Jan. 17 letter from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration regarding unproven claims on the GOJO website, Purell website and Purell social media accounts that some hand sanitizers are intended to reduce or prevent disease from the Ebola virus, MRSA, norovirus and influenza.

Hand sanitizers are regulated by the FDA, and the agency does not allow any manufacturers to make claims about their products’ ability to combat any virus, including the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Surface disinfectants, on the other hand, are regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which permits manufacturers to make claims about the effectiveness of products against viruses.

“While COVID-19 is a new strain of coronavirus, under the EPA’s Emerging Pathogen guidance, our Purell Surface Spray can be used to kill COVID-19 on hard, non-porous surfaces when used in accordance with the directions and a 1-minute contact time,” according to GOJO spokeswoman Samantha Williams. (- Cleveland.com)