Niagara College is responding to an urgent need to protect the health and safety of the community, and those on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The College has an assortment of in-demand supplies earmarked for local healthcare – including made-in-Niagara solutions created right on its campuses in both Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake.
Initiatives include face shields created in college research labs at the Walker Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre; the provision of personal protective equipment, including N-95 masks, gloves and gowns collected from departments college-wide; and the production of sanitizer in the Niagara College Teaching Distillery.
“At Niagara College, we’re training the healthcare workers and first responders of tomorrow, and we know there is no greater inspiration than the tireless efforts of those who are working within the healthcare system in the face of this unprecedented challenge,” said Niagara College president Sean Kennedy. “We’re leveraging our college’s innovative spirit to provide support in any way we can.”
Research & Innovation provides face shields
The College’s Research & Innovation Division is responding to the Niagara Health System’s increased demand for protective equipment. Two thousand face shields are being produced at the College’s Walker Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre (Welland Campus) using laser-cutting technology and computer design tools.
The project is funded by the NC-led Southern Ontario Network for Advanced Manufacturing Innovation (SONAMI) through Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) contributions.
In addition to reaching out to assist local healthcare organizations, the College’s Research & Innovation Division has also approached Health Canada with an interest in assisting with additional projects related to COVID-19.
Teaching Distillery produces disinfectant
Stills at the Niagara College Teaching Distillery in Niagara-on-the-Lake have been running throughout the campus closure – but not to create its signature artisan small-batch spirits. Since March 16, staff members have been responding to an overwhelming demand for hand sanitizer by producing a 70% alcohol disinfectant, which can be used for hand sanitizer and surface wipes.
Departments donate surplus medical supplies
Staff from departments and divisions across the College have been taking stock of their inventory to identify urgently needed personal protective equipment that can be donated to local healthcare workers.
Thousands of masks (including N95 and procedural masks) and thousands of gloves, as well as hundreds of face shields will be provided in the coming days.
The equipment was collected from various areas of the College – from Community and Health Studies, Trades and Technology, Campus Safety, Trades and Technology, Academic and Liberal Studies, the School of Environment, and Human Resources.
NC COVID-19 updates
Niagara College campuses are currently closed, students continue their winter term classes remotely until further notice. For the latest College updates regarding COVID-19, visit niagaracollege.ca/healthservices/coronavirus/
Niagara College offers more than 130 diploma, bachelor degree and advanced level programs; as well as more than 600 credit, vocational and general interest Part-Time Studies courses. Areas of specialization include food and wine sciences, advanced technology, media, applied health and community safety, supported by unique learning enterprises in food, wine, beer, distilling, horticulture and esthetics. For more information visit niagaracollege.ca.
Photo: NC’s Research & Innovation is producing 2,000 face shields at the Walker Advanced Manufacturing Centre using laser-cutting technology and computer design tools.