FLINT, Mich. — Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy is among several Flint, Mich.-area companies that have signed on to a council to support a local business that makes scrubs and is interested in expanding beyond traditional markets.
Diplomat CEO Phil Hagerman, Uptown Developments managing partner and Shaltz Automation president Phil Shaltz, Landaal Packaging president Steve Landaal and Flint-based private practice physician Nita Kulkarni said they had formed a business advisory council to support a job-creation initiative at St. Luke N.E.W. Life Enterprises, which makes scrub uniforms and accessories.
The companies formally introduced the council Friday at a press conference that included a presentation by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and Michigan Economic Development president and CEO Michael Finney, with attendance by more than 100 Flint-area business leaders, politicians and community supporters.
Flint nuns Carol Weber and Judy Blake founded St. Luke North End Women Life Center as program that incorporates education and workplace training to help women become self-sufficient providers for their families, including training in sewing. At the conclusion of the program, women may apply for jobs as seamstresses at N.E.W. Life Enterprises, a business formed by the organization in 2008 that makes scrubs, hospital gowns, adult garment protectors, identification card lanyards and cell phone covers. The business currently has 11 employees, with five more scheduled to start in May.
"The products offered by N.E.W. Life Enterprises are made by women who have grown in their life skills and now know how to sew professionally," Hagerman said. "It is not only changing lives; it has the potential to change Flint as well."