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Local plant team members volunteering during their off time to make face shields for frontline workers

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SIOUX CENTER, Iowa (KTIV) - A local plant best known for making windows has shifted gears and is also making face shields to help during the pandemic.

Denny Van Zanten, the plant manager of Pella in Sioux Center, Iowa, says they knew healthcare workers and others working in the frontlines were in desperate need of Personal Protective Equipment.

He says they wanted to do their part to help, so they joined another Pella plant out of Marion County who came up with the idea, and began making face shields.

"We have a 3D printer here in our plant so we quickly got that set up to start making the brackets around the clock," said Van Zanten. "And what was really quickly is that some of our Sioux Center team members when they heard we were doing this internally volunteered their own time and equipment to start making brackets in their homes as well.

Van Zanten says thanks to the team members using their personal printers at home, they now have five different 3D printers that are being used to make brackets.

"We are getting the laminate for the shield from Pella because thats made using a laser cutter in the Pella lab and then we are having the full assembly quickly," said Van Zanten.

So far they have made over 700 face shields. Those went to the Sioux County Sheriff's Office, the Auditors office for the elections coming up, and a hospital in Hawarden.

Currently they are working on an order of 500 for the Sioux Center Hospital, which they plan to deliver by the end of next week.

"I'm excited about this. This is so cool to be able to help those that really need the help and are heroes," said Van Zanten.

Van Zanten says they will continue to take orders and help their community for as long as the help is needed.

Van Zanten says the spoke with the Emergency Management Agency and want to help even more hospitals if they can.

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Xava Parra

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