Wolf Administration Applauds York County Spirits Company for Response to Manufacturing Call to Action

Harrisburg, PA – Today, Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Secretary Dennis Davin highlighted the efforts of Holla Spirits, a millennial-owned York County spirits company that pivoted its production to make hand sanitizer in response to the state’s critical need for personal protective equipment (PPE) through DCED’s Pennsylvania Manufacturing Call to Action Portal (MCAP), which mobilized manufacturers producing COVID-19-related products and supplies or could pivot to producing COVID-19-related supplies. As of the end of July 2020, the MCAP received 2,793 submissions for hand sanitizer production.

“Hand sanitizer is a crucial tool in mitigating the spread of COVID-19, especially when soap and water are not available,” said Sec. Davin. “We are so fortunate to have a business community in our state that is proactive and eager to respond and help. Knowing that the availability of hand sanitizer would both help protect and bring a sense of ease to Pennsylvanians, Holla Spirits stepped up and adjusted operations to meet the needs of our commonwealth.”

In a two-week timeframe, Holla Spirits used its existing ethanol network and worked with local chemical companies that created the base of the sanitizer. The company prioritized first responders and nursing homes and worked with local pharmacies for distribution efforts. Holla Spirits hired back all staff and even hired additional employees for this ramped-up production. At the end of April, the company had produced nearly 1 million ounces of hand sanitizer. Additionally, over the past week, Holla Spirits delivered product donations to schools in Dauphin, Lancaster, and York counties.

“People know Holla for our innovative vodkas,” said Holla Spirits President Patrick Shorb. “When the COVID-19 crisis struck, we knew it was time to respond to support our community. We began producing medical grade hand sanitizer within weeks, using a formula recommended by the World Health Organization. We were able to support a variety of first responders, nursing homes, rehab centers, and many businesses right here in our community and in other states.”

The MCAP was developed through a joint effort between DCED, the Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association, the Pennsylvania Chemical Industry Council, Ben Franklin Technology Partners, the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania, IRC Network, Life Sciences PA, Pennsylvania Life Sciences Greenhouses, and the PA Chamber of Business and Industry.

The portal helps facilitate business connections for expansion of supply chain capacity and manufacturing innovation. The goal is to match manufacturers and distributors to fill specific supply chain needs to meet increasing demands for medical supplies and related products, assist manufacturers that have workforce needs or gaps and aid them in identifying skilled workers, and identify manufacturers that can pivot or innovate to fulfill the demand for medical supplies and related products.

For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19, Pennsylvanians should follow www.governor.pa.gov and www.doh.pa.gov.

For more information about DCED, visit the DCED website, and be sure to stay up-to-date with all of our agency news on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Casey Smith, casesmith@pa.gov

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