ISAIC nonprofit trains workforce with PPE production in Detroit

There are hundreds of thousands of PPE being made in Detroit right in the 5000 block of Cass. The institute partnered with Rock Ventures and Carhartt.

But their plan was very different pre-Covid. 

"They build out a beautiful space for our Institute which is located above their store on Cass in Midtown, we were going to launch our normal training programs around apparel manufacturing," said Jen Guarino. 

The magic and the masks being made at ISAIC - The Industrial Sewing and Innovation Center.  A nonprofit and first of its kind in the country, these workers from a diverse array of backgrounds. And they are helping stitch metro Detroit back to the workplace.

They are making Level 3 surgical masks with a 98 percent filtration rating. ISAIC had been in the planning stages for years and then Covid hit.  But that meant figuring out how to continue to put these good people to work while helping the area.

"But when the pandemic hit, we realized it was pretty irresponsible to use our resources and expertise to make apparel when we could redirect our expertise and our network to make PPE," Guarino said. "So we just completely switched gears. What tired up the lines and we got to work."

ISAIC also got an investment from Rock Ventures,  Dan Gilbert's company provided the machinery that makes the masks.

"We were really approaching this from a community impact perspective as well," said Allen Largin, Rock Ventures. "so I called Jen and Jen was just opening up ISIAC that same month, you know - good timing opening up a new operation in the middle of a pandemic - but Jen and the team were so collaborative and they're very innovative like us."

"What we are doing at ISAIC is training an entire workforce for advanced manufacturing for the future," said Guarino. 

Go to if you want to order them.