Elk Grove Village auto speaker maker ATrend pivots to produce PPE

Leah Hope Image
Thursday, May 28, 2020
Elk Grove Village auto speaker manufacturer pivots to produce PPE
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ATrend in Elk Grove Village was forced to lay off workers in March. Now, those workers are back - and they're even hiring more.

ELK GROVE VILLAGE, Ill. (WLS) -- Some local businesses have found ways to be of service and keep their employees on the payroll.

Elk Grove Village business ATrend laid off workers when orders dried up for their auto speakers in March.

But now, the CNC router is back in operation as ATrend adds a new line, ATrend Safety. They now makes face shields, protective barriers and a range of PPE, including a little piece of what they call an "ear protector" that helps masks stay on without hurting your ears.

Those who were laid off are back, and now, they are even hiring.

"We got overwhelmed rather quickly," said Kevin Hundal with ATrend Safety. "But it's also our responsibility to make sure there's a company left, to put food on the table when we come back from this. And that's what really lead us into what can we do with our current infrastructure with our current resources."

At the family business, Hundal, his brother and cousin run day-to-operations and understand not only the need to pivot, but the need to be of service.

They watched their father's holiday decoration business go overseas, so they shifted to electronics. And with a global pandemic, they shifted again.

"All the punches we've taken in the face as business owners the last 20 years helped us adapt and be flexible here," Hundal said. "When this opportunity first came up, the question was, what can we do to help? Being agile and being flexible will hopefully help fulfill a need for people."

Hundal said the electronics business has started to pick up. Even so, they plan to shift to more domestic suppliers to stay agile in the evolving economy.