Continuing to find innovative ways to provide locally-sourced PPE

By Snohomish County Government | Press Release

SNOHOMISH COUNTY, WA, July 23, 2020 – Edmonds College (EC) and Snohomish County announced their partnership to produce locally sourced Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). EC produced 200 face shields at the Washington Aerospace Training and Research Center (WATR) at Snohomish County’s Paine Field Airport.

Front line workers and first responders across Snohomish County have experienced difficulties procuring consistent supplies of PPE since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The uncertainty of supplies for specific types of PPE has continued as different sectors of the community reactivate and additional cases of COVID-19 emerge. Availability of PPE has also been impacted by regional demand and variability in international supply chains.

Edmonds College
The ED19 Durable Face Shield was designed by a team at Edmonds College’s makerspace and was manufactured for Snohomish County at the WATR Center, which is owned and operated by the college. Photo courtesy of Edmonds College.

Snohomish County has been leading an effort to connect local production capacity for PPE with end-users. The sources of this production capacity range from privately-owned 3D printers and sewing machines to privately-operated businesses with equipment and personnel that could be retooled for PPE (design, 3D printers, 3D scanners, laser cutting, water jet cutting, computer numerical control (CNC), workspaces, welding, tools, etc.).

The WATR Center, which is owned and managed by EC, has state of the art equipment designed for training aerospace manufacturing workers that has been repurposed to produce face shields based on two innovative designs. The center manufactured two types of shields for the county, including one, the ED19 Durable Face Shield, which was designed and developed by the college’s makerspace team.

Edmonds College
The ED19 Durable Face Shield was designed by a team at Edmonds College’s makerspace and was manufactured for Snohomish County at the WATR Center, which is owned and operated by the college. Pictured: David Voetmann, makerspace program manager, demos the ED19, which is being piloted at two Washington state hospitals. Photo courtesy of Edmonds College.

“This budding partnership proves the concept of being able to increase Snohomish County’s resiliency in the face of uncertain emergencies in the future by encouraging a local supply chain of distributed manufacturing,” said Jason Biermann, Director of Snohomish County’s Department of Emergency Management. “We are proud to work with EC and lucky to have such talented and passionate facilitators at the WATR Center who jumped at this opportunity.”

“We’re proud to partner with Snohomish County to help meet the needs of our local health care providers and community during this time,” said EC President Dr. Amit Singh. “Strong, long-term partnerships such as this will be key to overcoming the pandemic and continuing to grow and build a bright future for our community.”

Edmonds College
Edmonds College manufactured face shields in response to a need by Snohomish County health care providers at the WATR Center, the college’s aerospace training center at Paine Field. Photo courtesy of Edmonds College.

Snohomish County will continue to support innovative efforts to provide medical-grade PPE for local health care workers and first responders.

Find out more about the WATR Center here: http://washingtonaerospace.com/ and the college’s makerspace, The Facility Makerspace here: edcc.edu/makerspace.

Mario Lotmore

Mario Lotmore is originally from The Bahamas and for the last seven years has called Mukilteo, WA his home. Having lived in every region of the United States has exposed him to various cultures, people, and approaches to life. Lotmore created the Lynnwood Times to represent the character of a diverse and growing Lynnwood. The launching of the city’s free community newspaper will only help bring neighborhoods together. Lotmore was an industrial engineer by trade and proven success implementing and managing lean accountable processes and policies within his eighteen years of operations excellence, strategic development, and project management in the aerospace, manufacturing, and banking industries. Over his career he has saved and created hundreds of union and non-union jobs. Lotmore is the President of a Homeowner Association, an active Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics volunteer in his community, and former Boeing 747 Diversity Council leader. Mario’s talent is finding “that recipe” of shared destiny to effectively improve the quality of life for others.

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