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SkillsUSA Tennessee Colleges Help Protect Health Professionals

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SkillsUSA members from Tennessee’s community and technical colleges are playing a major role in manufacturing face shields to protect Tennessee health professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic. Using 3D printers, several Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology campuses manufactured headbands to be used for plastic face shields as protection from infectious diseases while working with patients.  

The project was announced by Governor Bill Lee as part of an effort to find innovative ways to serve Tennesseans during the COVID-19 crisis. The Tennessee Higher Education Commission worked with the Tennessee Board of Regents and universities to locate materials for the production of personal protective equipment (PPE) face shields. Campuses supplied 3D printers, materials and supplies for the ongoing effort. After only three days of collaboration with community and business partners, the effort produced over 1,500 pieces of PPE for health care professionals.  

Once made, the headbands are sent to Austin Peay State University, where they are attached to transparent plastic face shields. The face shields are then delivered to the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency for distribution.  

So far, Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology at Elizabethton, Jackson, Morristown, Murfreesboro and Shelbyville — along with Jackson State and Pellissippi State community colleges — have participated in the project. Tennessee has 27 public colleges of applied technology and 13 community colleges that comprise the College System of Tennessee, governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents, and the campuses are heavily involved in SkillsUSA.  

Photo courtesy of TCAT-Murfreesboro. Used with permission.

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