The Canadian Shield donates 750,000 face shields to education ministries
By PLANT STAFFIndustry Government COVID-19 InkSmith manufacturing Ontario PPE The Canadian Shield Waterloo
The value of the 750,000 face shield donation is approximately $7.5 million
WATERLOO, Ont. — In preparation for Canadian teachers returning to the classroom, Waterloo, Ont.-based personal protective equipment (PPE) manufacturer The Canadian Shield is donating 750,000 reusable face shields to provincial and territorial governments across Canada.
The value of the 750,000 face shield donation is approximately $7.5 million. The face shields will be distributed by the public sector to protect teachers and educators from potential exposure to COVID-19 or other serious health risks.
When The Canadian Shield began manufacturing face shields in March 2020, the company says it made a call to the community in Waterloo Region and across Ontario for help in 3D printing the visors to maximize production capacity. Dozens of school boards from across Canada offered support, enabling the firm to donate 20,000 shields to healthcare workers in those first weeks.
“We would not be where we are today if it weren’t for the help of school boards across Ontario and organizations across Canada, who helped us 3D print face shield components in our early days,” said The Canadian Shield President Jeremy Hedges, in a prepared statement. “This is our way of giving back to the community and supporting Canadian educators.”
The Canadian Shield was founded by InkSmith, an educational technology company specializing in 3D printers, robotics, virtual reality and laser cutters. The company pivoted to produce PPE at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic and is now producing 200,000 face shields per day.
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In addition to the 750,000 shield donation, The Canadian Shield is also launching its new line of kids face shields, which are modelled after the original design and modified to fit children aged five to 12 years old.
The Canadian Shield has also launched cloth and surgical mask lines. The company is producing one million surgical masks per week and anticipates hitting an annual quota of more than 300 million masks. In the next few months, the company will also begin manufacturing isolation gowns, with an anticipated capacity of six million gowns per year.
“We have invested heavily in PPE manufacturing and established reliable supply chains across Canada to ensure our nation is self-sustaining and in a position to combat any future global health crisis,” said Hedges. “Our days of relying on global supply chains are over. We are proud to be part of what we see as a ‘Made in Canada’ movement.”
The Canadian Shield says it has reached out to all relevant ministries to coordinate donation distribution details.