Nation’s investment in glove factory paying off during COVID-19 pandemic
WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. – Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer commended Rhino Health, LLC, which operates a nitrile glove manufacturing facility in the Navajo community of Church Rock, New Mexico for helping to address the critical needs of health care workers and first responders who are on the frontlines fighting COVID-19.
“This is sovereignty at the highest level. We are practicing the teaching of our elders known as T’áá hwó’ajít’éego, or self-reliance and self-determination. We’re empowering ourselves to help our Navajo people and now we’re taking it a step further by helping people across the country as well,” Nez said.
Last November, Nez, Lizer and the 24th Navajo Nation Council approved the appropriation of $19 million to help the company begin its operation, which also employs many Navajo workers. With growing cases of COVID-19 on the Navajo Nation, Nez said the Nation’s investment is paying off as the company continues to produce millions of protective gloves.
“The funds that our Nation invested in Rhino Health, LLC, are now helping to keep our health care workers, nurses, and other first responders safe as they fight the COVID-19 coronavirus. We have many Navajo men and women working in the glove factory who are making a big difference in the lives of many whether they realize it or not. Our investment is paying off,” Nez said.
Nez, Lizer and Navajo Nation Division of Economic Development Executive Director JT Willie joined owner Mark Lee March 25, as the company loaded boxes of gloves for delivery to the Navajo Nation and other parts of the country. All employees are required to take precautions to prevent COVID-19 while working, including wearing personal protective equipment.
“We are very proud to see Navajo-made products making a huge difference for the better during this pandemic. In every challenging time, you always have people and entities step up and shine. Rhino Health, LLC, as well as Navajo enterprises, small businesses, and others are stepping up and helping to fight and beat the pandemic. These are the stories of hope and inspiration that need to be told in times like this,” Lizer said.
The Navajo Nation Division of Economic Development worked closely with Rhino Health, LLC, and others to secure the funding, facility, and other resources to operate the glove factory.
Information provided by the Office of the President and Vice President