Two Local Companies Connect in Response to the COVID-19 Crisisjames


SKF Purchasing Custom-made Fabric Masks from The Resource Center

SKF Aerospace recently expressed a need to the County of Chautauqua Industrial Development Agency (CCIDA) to purchase masks for its 500 production staff due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, the CCIDA had become aware that The Resource Center (TRC) was mass-producing fabric masks. In response to SKF’s request, the CCIDA contacted TRC on SKF’s behalf and was directed to contact Bruce Theuret, General Manager at Support Enterprises, Inc.

As a result of this connection, SKF Aerospace Factory Manager Robert Massaro contacted Support Enterprises (a sister company to The Resource Center) to design a “break away capable” fabric mask with Velcro fasteners to prevent injury from plant equipment. The initial contact, prototype development, and mask testing were all accomplished in less than one day. This culminated in SKF placing an order for 1,000 of the newly-designed masks.

“When I received the call from SKF, I was thrilled that we could help,” said Theuret. “Any time we can work with a local company to assist with the production of any type of sewn product, especially during this challenging time, it is great thing as we keep people employed and keep our business dollars local. This is a win-win for both organizations. Support Enterprises, as well as our sister company, The Resource Center, stand ready to meet the mask needs of any other local businesses. I greatly appreciate the assistance the CCIDA provided in facilitating the connection between Support Enterprises and SKF.”

“I’m glad that our team at the CCIDA could facilitate this connection, resulting in two great companies helping each other,” said Mark Geise, Deputy County Executive for Economic Development and CEO of the CCIDA. “We intend to continue to make these connections now and after the COVID-19 crisis secedes.”

“In the end, despite all the skills we teach the developmentally disabled, we are taught much more about life from them,” said Theuret.

County Executive PJ Wendel, who has been at the forefront of the pandemic, said, “Not only is a local company producing much-needed personal protective equipment (PPE), but its selling them to a local company who is in full production and is being prudent about the health and safety of its workforce. This is a great story of businesses in our community working together!”

Bob Massaro, SKF Factory Manager, said, “We are glad to find a local resource for our masks, and a responsive one at that. In this transaction, we got a needed commodity fast, while local citizens have genuine work to stay employed. This is good for everyone.”
About Support Enterprises

Support Enterprises is a for-profit corporation that was spun-off of The Resource Center, a nonprofit organization. Its core values include a commitment to helping those in the community who face adversity in their lives. It believes that everyone should have the ability to prove themselves and to live with dignity. This is not just a Western New York value or an American value, but a deeply human value. When possible, Support Enterprises sub-contracts with The Resource Center to employ the developmentally disabled. In addition, a portion of its profits support the various missions of The Resource Center and The Resource Center’s Foundation.

About SKF

The SKF Aeroengine North America business unit is a leader in high precision, custom-engineered ball and roller bearings for critical aeroengine and specialty applications, including ball and roller bearings for helicopters, main shaft and gearboxes for jet engines, and various types of aircraft power assemblies.

About the CCIDA

The CCIDA is an economic development organization authorized and empowered by the State of New York to make Chautauqua County a better place to work, live, visit, and conduct business. The organization facilitates development by attracting new businesses, while promoting the retention and expansion of existing businesses. Assistance in the form of incentives – tax abatements, low interest loans, and bond financing – enhances the opportunities for job creation and retention for our businesses. For more information, visit