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Local Connecticut business making protective face mask to help medical employees battle the COVID-19 pandemic

The 35-year old business in East Hartford realized that medical professionals were in need of face shields so they created a prototype on their shop floor.

EAST HARTFORD, Conn. — The team at family-owned Ardent Displays and Packaging are known for creating designs at stores like Staples and, interestingly enough, making your pizza boxes but, this week, they've made a shift. 

The 35-year old business in East Hartford realized that medical professionals were in need of face shields so they created a prototype on their shop floor. 

"We happen to have the talent and the equipment to be able to turn this all in house," said Ardent Displays owner Donald Budnick.

 Budnick got the idea to make face shields from his son, Justin, a financial planner who works with numerous doctors -- the father and son essentially have teamed up. 

Justin Budnick said, "It was the first time I got to use my network with all the medical professionals and his manufacturing and design capabilities to deliver on a huge need."

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The team at Ardent is now able to make around 30 thousand face shields a day, the first ten thousand being donated to doctors and nurses at places like Hartford Hospital and Berkshire Hospital. Donald Budnick added that, if raw materials keep coming in, he will make the other face shields at cost. 

"Cutting a piece of plastic to keep them (doctors and nurses) out of harm's way, it just seemed so natural and so immediate... we just want to do our part"  

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