Written by Donald A. Promnitz
An artisanal group has made the temporary switch to manufacturing in order to not only battle COVID-19, but also to keep their jobs.
Located in South Fresno, Monster City studios is a company that focuses primarily on making sets for theme parks and other attractions. However, that’s changed for the time being with their designation as a “non-essential business” by the City of Fresno. According to James Powell, vice president and founder of Monster City, it was at this point that they began looking for ways to stay open and turned to the manufacturing of face shields.
So far, they’ve manufactured thousands, while the switch has enabled 15 of their 20 employees to keep working. Meanwhile, they’ve been making improvements in coverage and the ability for dentists and other health specialists to mount equipment such as lights and lenses on the masks, making adjustments with feedback.
Powell says it’s been a major transition for his employees, but they’ve done an excellent job in adapting to the new work.
“It has absolutely nothing to do with their professional lives, or their professional jobs here,” Powell said. “They’re usually artists, and here, they’re basically working at a factory right now, but they don’t care. They want to be here and they want to help out — and I can’t give them enough kudos.”
Powell added that they hope return to set designs soon.