More than one quarter of a million Californians applied for unemployment benefits last week. Nearly 21 million people are considered unemployed.

Jesse Gonzalez spent several weeks looking for work. Now he is packing up face masks at QYK Brands.

QYK Brands masks production in Garden Grove, Calif.

“It feels good. It’s definitely not a bad thing at all. You have work and not only the fact that you have work, but it’s necessary… It’s a beneficial job to other people not just yourself,” said Gonzalez.

The masks are made where Gonzalez works. CEO of QYK Brands, Rakesh Tammabuttala, started the company three years ago. The company made a name for itself with supplements and beauty supplies, operating out of a much smaller facility in Garden Grove.

The business moved into the nearly 120,000-square-foot space in Anaheim less than one month ago and shifted its priorities to masks, hand sanitizer, and soon, sanitizing wipes.

Tammabuttala said they have a hard time competing with the prices of international manufacturers.

“There was a brief period of time where we had to pretty much put a hold on everything. We were not able to ship anything. All the shipments were on hold and it seemed a bit uncertain, but things have gotten better,” said Tammabuttala.

“I want to be able to give my kid the best, the best future possible and you have to start somewhere,” said Gonzalez.

By Parker Collins

(This article was originally published on Spectrum News on June 13, 2020.)