Fremont manufacturer adding jobs to make ventilators, test kits

At Evolve Manufacturing Technologies, a medical supply manufacturer in Fremont, the clock is constantly ticking. Lives are potentially at stake.

"This is an important time. It's like World War II. Everyone needs to help," says CEO Noreen King.

The company has completely shifted its operation from making such supplies as ultra-sound equipment to now producing test kits for COVID-19.

"For first responders. People like that. People who need to make sure they are not infected before they come to work," said King.

Evolve produces about 20,000 kits a day. From here they go to distributors who send them where they're needed.

Workers assembling them say they feel the urgency of what they are doing. 

"People out there. They need the test kit. That's why we feel very important now to supply people out there," said employee tuan do.

King says setting up production is a big challenge.

"We never did high volume before like this. Within two days we had to have 20 people in there cranking out kits."

But the kits are a breeze compared with what else she expects to make here soon: ventilaltors.

King says she expects to have the prototype ready by next week, seek FDA approval, and if all goes well, start building 10,000 ventilators a week here by next month.

But it's not as easy as it may sound.

"Our line is going to be very complicated for that because it has 25 steps, you need a lot of air and oxygen for tests. We need to get that up and running and certified to FDA qualifications. You just can't start making a machine."

King started evolve more than 20 years ago. She says she's never worked so hard or felt such a sense of importance.

I never rest. I always feel guilty if i take a break. I know so many people are wanting for these ventilators.

There is also one other bit of news we don't hear too much these days. The company has been hiring. It plans on adding some 200 new jobs.