Kitsbow received the 2021 North Carolina Governor’s NCWorks Award of Distinction for Outstanding Employer. The award was presented at the Virtual 2021 NCWorks Partnership Conference on October 20. 

Western North Carolina-based Kitsbow was nominated for the award by the Region C Workforce Development Board in recognition of its contributions to the economy and for its innovation during the pandemic when the company shifted to producing personal protective equipment (PPE).

“A highly skilled workforce is the key to getting North Carolina job-ready,” said North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper. “With its commitment to employing North Carolinians, teaching them to sew and participating in our On-the-Job Training program, Kitsbow is an outstanding example for other employers.” 

David Lee, director, Foothills Workforce Development Board, noted, “Kitsbow was one of the first manufacturing companies in the nation to pivot in March 2020 to make face shields and fabric face masks from the material they already had on hand. It may be hard to remember now, but this was during a time that medical professionals and first responders lacked any kind of masks or shields, and Kitsbow employees stepped up to help out.”

Since relocating its headquarters from California to Old Fort in October 2019, Kitsbow added more than 50 new jobs with ten positions currently open. As part of its employee benefits package, Kitsbow offers its staff 100 percent employer-paid health insurance, paid holidays, subsidized food, secure indoor bike racks, a shower and changing area, and subsidized service on employee bikes.

“It’s an absolute honor to be recognized by Governor Roy Cooper with this NCWorks Award of Distinction and especially to be honored as an outstanding employer,” said David Billstrom, CEO, Kitsbow. “Our team has been integral to our success. I am profoundly grateful for and proud of a team of 60 people who came into a facility every day during a state-wide lockdown to make PPE to help keep our community and country safe.”

Photo courtesy Kitsbow