Bluegrass Distillers creates jobs for Lexington Rescue Mission clients

Published: Apr. 14, 2020 at 11:30 AM EDT
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Many companies have had to adjust due to COVID-19. Some have laid-off workers, but one company in Lexington is hiring.

So far, Bluegrass Distillers has hired about 20 people from the Lexington Rescue Mission to quickly fill the orders for hand sanitizer.

The company started making it in response to COVID-19 after stopping its normal production of craft bourbon.

“We only had six employees total and we were trying to even keep them employed because our distillery was closed down three weeks ago by order of the governor," said Nathan Brown, Bluegrass Distillers owner. "When the FDA approved this new formula we scrambled and ramped up.”

Brown says the company started mixing ethanol with hydrogen peroxide, glycerin and distilled water to make the approved hand sanitizer. The orders started coming in so fast, the distillery needed more workers to help.

The new employees from the Lexington Rescue Mission are making about $13 an hour to fill bottles them package them for shipping. Brown says the workers had to be moved to another facility he owns so they can practice social distancing.

Bluegrass Distillers is donating the hand sanitizer to nonprofits and first responders and selling it to the public locally and across the US.

Because the orders keep coming in, Bluegrass Distillers is also thinking about creating another shift and hiring more workers.