(This article originally appeared on Northwest Georgia News’ website)
Dalton—Shaw Industries has set up a 3D printer farm at the Shaw Innovation Center & MakerSpace, located here, and are producing face shields for local hospitals. Officials say the team has found a design that is fast to print and have developed a way to stack the design and print several at a time.
AdventHealth Gordon has benefited from the effort. Colt Davis, director of supply chain for the hospital, said the donated face shields have been invaluable.
“These donated supplies mean so much to us as supply levels on these products are critically low nationwide,” said Davis. “They have allowed us to ensure we keep our employees and patients safe through this process.”
The Dalton and Whitfield County school systems have helped Shaw locate extra transparency sheets (used for front of the face shield). Some individuals, teachers and other companies have joined in the project as well and are printing at home.
“We have delivered 1,500-plus to area hospitals at this point, including 500 to AdventHealth Gordon,” said Deanna Mathis, director of community outreach and corporate giving at Shaw. “Our vision at Shaw is to create a better future, and supporting our communities is a big part of that. As a company, we have a very giving culture with associates who are driven to volunteer and serve others in times of need. As soon as our Shaw maker community heard about the shortage of PPE for our front-line healthcare workers, they went to work solving the challenge. Not only did they quickly create a working prototype, they engaged a team of volunteers to start production under the leadership of David Voyles.”
Based upon local community need, Shaw has so far:
- Donated 1,000 N95 masks to a local hospital.
- Connected medical facilities with Shaw suppliers for more rapid access to needed supplies (such as masks) to allow them to tap into a different supply chain than normal where their typical supplies are strained to meet growing needs.
- Developed their own hand sanitizer and disinfectant for use in theri North Georgia facilities — relieving some pressure in the supply chain for others seeking similar materials (Shaw continues to use products from other suppliers as well. Shaw’s current capacity and packaging limitations does not allow it to effectively make sanitizer to ship to all its locations or to donate in large quantities to others).
- Donated 100 Chromebook tablets to local school systems to provide remote sessions for speech and occupational therapy for students in need of devices.
- Provided meals from local restaurants for healthcare workers in Northwest Georgia hospitals, including a donation to Because Calhoun Cares.
- Supported associates who are volunteering their time in support of various COVID-19 response efforts, including leveraging Shaw MakerSpace to 3D print face shields that are being donated to medical personnel.
- Partnered with the United Way, an organization with whom Shaw has worked for decades to help meet the needs of the communities in which they operate.
Mathis said Shaw and its employees are eager to do what they can during the trying time. “We are happy to know that we are able to help,” she said.