Posted on May 10, 2020
NOAA CESSRST Alumni, Yoribaldis Olivo now a structural engineer at Pratt & Whitney, was one of nearly 200 P&W employees who volunteered to create face shields that are being used in the fight against COVID-19.
"This was my way of giving back," he said. "I had the opportunity, so I took it. It's great to know I was able to contribute somehow and help the greater good."
Pratt & Whitney is a subsidiary of Raytheon Technologies, a multinational developer of advanced technology for the aerospace and defense industries. Once it became clear that there was a shortage of PPE, Raytheon stepped in to fill the need, setting up production locations at more than 50 company facilities across the country and worldwide.
The company set an initial goal of producing 10,000 face shields that would be distributed throughout the United States. That goal was reached in 23 days and has since been doubled. Production is taking place at 36 Raytheon sites in the U.S. (13 of which are P&W facilities), as well as locations in Canada, France, Ireland and the United Kingdom.
With all of the necessary equipment already on hand, P&W dedicated an area at its main facility in East Hartford, Conn., to making PPE. The face shield itself was created on a 3D printer, then the other pieces were attached after the mold was printed. Social distancing was maintained throughout the process, which took about 10 minutes per mask.
"We had an assembly line going," Olivo said. "There were about 16 of us working at any one time. Some people were cutting foam, some were cutting rubber, and some of us were assembling the components themselves."
That volunteer spirit is something that was instilled in Olivo during his time at CCNY. So, when the opportunity presented itself, it was a no-brainer.
"At City College, I always had the chance to volunteer and get involved in different activities," he said. "That definitely carried over. And knowing I'd be providing some support during hard times, too, made my decision really easy."
Olivo also had a message for the front-line workers who are now wearing the masks that he helped assemble: "I hope it helps. Stay safe."
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