PRESS RELEASE: The Canadian Shield Awarded Federal Contract to Produce 10 Million Shields for Front-line Workers
CANADIAN SHIELD WILL MANUFACTURE 10 MILLION REUSABLE FACE SHIELDS FOR HEALTHCARE FACILITIES ACROSS CANADA BY AUGUST
WATERLOO REGION, ON | APRIL 24, 2020 - The Canadian Shield, a Waterloo Region-based Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) manufacturer, is excited to announce today that Public Services and Procurement Canada, on behalf of the Government of Canada awarded the company a contract to manufacture 10 million units of its reusable face shields for healthcare providers and essential workers across Canada. This significant investment will ensure that healthcare workers have the resources they need to safely combat COVID-19 while reducing their risk of exposure.
“As our nation continues to grapple with the devastating impacts of COVID-19 on our front-line healthcare workers, we need to act fast to protect those who are putting their lives on the line every day,” said Jeremy Hedges, Founder and CEO of The Canadian Shield. “The federal government’s contract will put us in a position to expand our operating capabilities to address the critical shortage of medical equipment.”
The contract requires The Canadian Shield to manufacture 10 million reusable face shields, aptly called the Canadian Shield, by August 2020. Over the next few weeks, the company will double its workforce, from 150 to 300 employees, in order to honour that commitment.
“We understand the significant toll that COVID-19 has taken on our local economy and the Canadian workforce as a whole. This investment will allow us to put at least 150 more people back to work, reinvigorating our local manufacturing sector in Waterloo Region,” said Hedges.
The Canadian Shield, which 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. 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 the 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,” said City of Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic. “It’s a barn-raising spirit that ultimately hasn’t only benefitted Jeremy and his team at The Canadian Shield, but has resulted in seeing the benefits shared by everyone from other local companies to the many individuals they have been able to hire.”
Approved by Health Canada in March, The Canadian Shield has deployed hundreds of thousands of face shields to hospitals and healthcare providers across Canada.
Once the contract with Public Services and Procurement Canada is fulfilled, The Canadian Shield is planning on - extending its reach internationally, providing PPE to healthcare providers and essential workers around the world.
While The Canadian Shield’s reusable face masks will ensure that front-line workers are protected from exposure to COVID-19, they also offer a long-term sustainable solution for Canada’s healthcare industry. The shield can be reused when cleaned using chemical sanitation and is a more affordable PPE option compared to other disposable shields. It is also compatible with other PPE including N95 masks, surgical masks and safety goggles.
"InkSmith's Canadian Shield is a perfect example of tech for good and an inspiration to other innovators looking to help Canada respond to COVID-19," said Iain Klugman, president and CEO at Communitech. "The InkSmith team's lightning-fast pivot to building face shields to protect our frontline healthcare workers is a true community effort that has captured hearts across the country, and we'll continue to support them as this story unfolds."
The Canadian Shield is grateful and inspired by the collective community efforts of partners and stakeholders in Waterloo Region including; Communitech, City of Kitchener, Bereskin & Parr, Whitney, Waterloo EDC and BDO Kitchener-Waterloo.
For more information on The Canadian Shield, including information about the latest job opportunities, please visit www.canadianshieldppe.ca.
ABOUT THE CANADIAN SHIELD
The Canadian Shield is a Waterloo Region based advanced manufacturing company that specializes in the production and distribution of personal protective equipment for healthcare workers. The company was founded in the midst of the COVID-19 global health pandemic by educational technology company InkSmith to address the shortage of protective gear for front-line staff in hospitals and medical facilities. Specializing in reusable protective face masks, The Canadian Shield’s patent-pending technology can significantly reduce healthcare costs while saving lives.
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