Toyota Manufacturing donates masks to students


DUNBAR, W.Va. (WOWK) — Students at the Ben Franklin Career Center got a big mask donation Tuesday.

Staff at Toyota Motors Manufacturing West Virginia explained that they hope the masks will go a long way in the classrooms. Besides the 1,500 masks, they also donated material to make them as part of a larger learning opportunity.

“Usually we ask for at least a three-ply mask that protects,” says Srini Matam, President of Toyota Manufacturing West Virginia.

The materials are sourced by Toyota, says Matam, and are comparable to the effectiveness of an N95 mask.

“Ultimately the workforce comes from this local community, so the more we spend ahead of time and help kids learn, safely – especially now with the pandemic – I think it’s going to help the community long-term,” he said.

Ben Franklin Career Center has roughly 350 students and 40 adults, and while their assistant principal Nicole McCartney says their most popular programs are in pre-nursing and electrical engineering, she says everyone can learn more about the manufacturing process with this project.

“Our goal is to have team members with Toyota come back and set that up in our maker space,” she said.

The Ben Franklin Career Center is preparing to have their entire student body back in class next week.

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