Ulster BOCES staff make PPE

Ulster BOCES fashion design student Mary Baker, from the Kingston City School District, sewing face masks at home. Baker donated the masks to her employer, who provides a curbside takeout food service.

Ulster BOCES instructors from three programs are producing personal protection equipment, which is being donated to healthcare and essential workers on the front lines of the battle against Covid 19.

Engineering teacher Salvatore Ligotino is leading the charge on manufacturing protective face shields. Ligotino, learned about a local retirement home asking for the college’s fashion department to make facemasks. After researching open-source designs that use materials and supplies that are readily available, he designed his own specifications for face shields and turned his home into a face shield manufacturing plant. After laser cutting the plastic shields, headbands and foam blocks that rest against the wearer’s forehead, he then uses the 3D printer to make fixtures that ensure the pieces are properly aligned when assembled. His goal is to produce 500 pieces of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE).


The parts manufactured in Ligotino’s Ellenville residence, they travel down the production line to Stone Ridge, where automotive technology teacher Jamie Lucks and Ulster BOCES teaching assistant Michelle Rosu assemble and package them. During the weekend of April 10, the duo completed 50 face shields, which Lucks has delivered to a local nursing home.

“We all know people that are vulnerable to this disease. Both the elderly and the immune-suppressed are at a sizable disadvantage to this battle with Covid 19. If we can give the medical heroes on the front lines some kind of advantage, then that’s what we’ll do,” says Lucks.

Fashion design and merchandising teacher Nicole Foti and several of her students are also answering the call by volunteering with Circle Creative Collective, a charitable 501(C)(3) organization based in Kingston, to sew face masks. Foti has made two dozen masks so far and says she will be making more soon.

Student Mary Baker has already made a half-dozen masks from her home, and plans to make more. Baker says Foti sent her a video on how to make masks. After applying her sewing knowledge, she figured it out.

Baker donated her first batch to her employer who provides a curbside takeout food service. “I decided to make them because they were in need and I wanted to help out,” Baker explained.