Manufacturing AUTOMATION

COVID-19 Updates News Factory
Ontario manufacturer lands contract from feds to produce 10M face shields


April 24, 2020
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION

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Photo: The Canadian Shield

The Canadian Shield, a Waterloo, Ontario–area manufacturer, has received a contract from the federal government to produce 10 million of its reusable face shields for distribution to essential workers across Canada.

“The federal government’s contract will put us in a position to expand our operating capabilities to address the critical shortage of medical equipment,” says Jeremy Hedges, founder and CEO of The Canadian Shield, in a statement.

The contract, through Public Services and Procurement Canada, must be fulfilled by August 2020. Over the next few weeks, The Canadian Shield will double its workforce, from 150 to 300 employees, in order to produce the 10 million face shields, which are also called The Canadian Shield.

The company was founded in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak by Hedges’ existing educational technology company InkSmith, has already increased its workforce from 10 to 150 employees in a matter of weeks.

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The company is working with a number of community partners to scale up, including Communitech, City of Kitchener, Bereskin & Parr, Whitney, Waterloo EDC and BDO Kitchener-Waterloo.

As The Canadian Shield expands, they will be hiring administrative and support personnel, warehouse workers and machine operators. Employees will earn a living wage and be eligible to receive company benefits, in addition to meal services for day, evening and night shifts.

“The story of The Canadian Shield demonstrates the strengths of Waterloo region – combining modern-day innovation of a company like InkSmith, our traditional roots in manufacturing and our collaborative spirit of both the public sector of cities like Kitchener and Waterloo with the private sector to move mountains to get things done,” says City of Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic.

Approved by Health Canada in March, The Canadian Shield has already sent hundreds of thousands of face shields to hospitals and healthcare providers across Canada.

Once this contract is filled, The Canadian Shield plans to distribute its face shields internationally.

The company is billing the shields as a sustainable solution for Canada’s healthcare industry. The shield can be reused when cleaned using chemical sanitation. It is also compatible with other PPE including N95 masks, surgical masks and safety goggles.