In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, medical workers and first responders are scrambling to find personal protective equipment or PPE. Things like gloves, masks and face shields are vital in keeping them safe while working to fight this virus.

From the very beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, there have been shortages of PPE across the country which sparked homemade, local efforts everywhere. One of those efforts is taking place at Taconic High School in Pittsfield at its brand new, state of the art building.

Using the high school's 3D printing technology, advanced manufacturing instructors Mark Lausier and Larry Michalenko were able to begin manufacturing face shields. Taconic’s new machines can produce up to 6-7 masks daily to assist Massachusetts Face Shields, a volunteer organization creating 3D-printed face shields and supplying them to healthcare workers on the front lines.

According to the organization, face shields are worn over masks to protect against droplets and are part of healthcare workers' essential PPE. Healthcare facilities statewide are suffering from a shortage of PPE and the organization's goal is to do as much as they can to help fill that need.

The residents of the state and city made this fabulous building and its technology possible for our students, and thanks to the expertise and giving nature of our teachers, we are honored to give back to the community and the Commonwealth and the heroes who are working so hard to keep us all safe and healthy.

Dr. Jason McCandless

Superintendent, Pittsfield Public Schools