EAST HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) – These are difficult times, especially for health care workers.

What’s making their jobs even more stressful is the lack of protective supplies.

A Connecticut manufacturing company is pitching in to help those who are helping others.

The East Hartford manufacturing company is called Ardent and they make displays and fixtures for stores.

When the owner heard health care workers didn’t have masks or had to wash them, he felt it was a call to action.

“We are effectively shut down from an Ardent standpoint” said Donald Budnick, Ardent President & CEO.

COVID-19 has slowed down work for many businesses, but Ardent has quickly switched gears.

Instead of making displays for many products, his employees are now making plastic face shield for health care workers.

“It was mind-blowing. We are not talking about an MRI that requires years to development of a simple manufactured product that so many people could be making,” Budnick said.

A big push came from his son Justin, who is a financial advisor for physicians. Justin was constantly hearing how masks were in short supply.

“This is the first time we get to work together as a family to donate to people who need this like yesterday,” Justin said.

The plastic face shields are pretty simple, but effective and they’re easy to clean, so they can be reused. Plus, Ardent can make a lot of them.

The goal over the next two days is to make about 35,000 plastic face shields. They will go to healthcare facilities in three states; Connecticut, New York, and Massachusetts. The first 10,000 will be donate, after that they will be sold at cost.

The company was loading up boxes of shields for Manchester Hospital on Friday. They will be 1,000 masks.

“We are just thankful that everyone is coming together and supporting our local community. We are in this together and people really care about our health care providers and our patients,” said Tiffany Gelsomino, Eastern CT Health Network.

Donald says as a business owner, he’s happy to help out, but he also feels a sense of being part of a community at a time when many are feeling vulnerable.

“Taking the infrastructure that we have and turning it to the general good, you have no idea how it makes you feel. To take equipment and actually save people and protect people feels fabulous,” Donald said.

There’s a company in Shelton, Modern Plastics, that’s making the face shields as well.

As the virus has an effect on all of us in some way, more and more companies are helping out.

Copyright 2019 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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