Former SFA football player, sign company shifting focus to medical supplies

A router table at National Signs in Houston cuts a plastic face shield (Source: National Signs)
A router table at National Signs in Houston cuts a plastic face shield (Source: National Signs)(National Signs)
Updated: Mar. 25, 2020 at 9:59 PM CDT
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HOUSTON, Texas (KTRE) - Cody Johnson, is the CEO of National Signs in Houston and he has been busy for the past several days.

“We are the biggest manufacturer of signs in Texas,” Johnson said. “National signs has been around for 27 years. We make the signs for NRG Stadium, Minute Maid Park, Toyota Center and other landmarks like Gallery Furniture.”

About three weeks ago the leaders at the company started to talk about possibly moving away from signs and manufacturing much-needed medical supplies to help hospitals and first responders fight COVID-19.

“We see the need to jump in and address the shortage in supplies for COVID-19. It is relevant for us because we are in the Houston Medical Center.”

Switching from signs to medical equipment was not hard.

“We use router tables to cut plastic and now we are using them to make face shields for doctors, nurses and first responders. We do a lot of metal fabrication and we are using that capacity to make surge hospital beds. From the time we had the idea for the face shield until the first one came off the routing table it took four hours. One of the things about us is that everything is custom. We have some of the best craftsman, engineers and designers.”

Johnson is an SFA alum, playing football for the 'Jacks in the early 90s. He is a native of Deep East Texas from the Beaumont area and has always had the heart to help.

“I have worked in Asia, Africa, all of the world in custom manufacturing,” Johnson said. “Wherever I went the hardest jobs always had men from East Texas doing them.”

Johnson and his group are looking to connect with municipalities and medical centers not in major cities.

“My concern is for the smaller municipalities and unincorporated areas,” Johnson said. “When talking with the smaller municipalities, they do not have ready-access to the COVID-19 stockpiles. We are trying to get them what they need. We are keeping up with production but we are selling everything we are making.”

So far the company has done work with Texas City, LaMarque, Madisonville, Whinney and Hamshire-Fannett.

The company is also helping out facilities with digital signs.

More information can be found here.

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