Lowcountry business making desk dividers to help schools open

Updated: Jul. 27, 2020 at 7:14 AM EDT
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SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCSC) - With schools scrambling to open in a few weeks, one family-owned company in Summerville has transitioned from prototype manufacturing to safety-glass for desks.

And they did it all in a matter of a couple of days.

Marsha Johnson and her husband operate Johnson CNC in the back of their home. They started the company about 8 years ago, primarily building prototypes for military, automotive, and medical industries.

Business was booming, and then the pandemic hit. Johnson says when business slowed down, they were looking to help where they could.

Then Johnson received a call from a teacher in Berkeley County desperately asking her for help in making desk dividers for classrooms. She said she looked online for the dividers, and they weren't cheap, but they are likely going to be necessary for schools to open.

The Johnsons got right to work. And within a couple of days, Johnson CNC was making the clear desk dividers.

"This is our part," Johnson said. "We think people are gifted at different things, and this is what we know."

The dividers will be put on desks to protect the students against germs but still allow them to see one another.

Johnson says they are able to make 500 sets in a day, and they can do it for a third of the cost of what she's seen online. They can make the dividers in different sizes. And Johnson says, over the last week, they've received hundreds of inquires.

“If anything, COVID taught us what we are good at and what we are not,” Johnson said. “And the truth is that we can manufacture and we can process and we know how to do this. And so it was an easy fit for us to say, we have to send them back to school and in those buildings there are teachers and staff that we love now here we are sending the two humans that we love the most, how can we help protect every body.”

For inquiries to Johnson CNC you can call (989) 506-4814 or email

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