From printers to face shields, Lexmark says it’s doing its part during COVID-19 pandemic

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Lexmark is one business that’s helping use it’s resources to build personal protective equipment and donate it to Kentuckian on the front line.

Mayor Linda Gorton echoed Governor Beshear, asking Kentucky businesses to step up and help make personal protective equipment Monday.

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For about two weeks Lexmark has been doing just that.

“We’re a printer company, we don’t make medical devices,” Eric Langevin, overseeing the face shields project, said. 

But now, there’s a team of about 15 people at Lexmark making face shields.

 “This story started over the backyard fence of Lexmarker and an emergency department doctor at Baptist Health,” Kelly Tingle, senior manager said.

Two neighbors chatting about life, led to Lexmark making nearly 600 face shields a week for Central Baptist Health hospital workers.

Tingle and Langevin said they’re grateful their company was willing to one hundred percent back the initiative.

“You got to listen. And if you listen and can deliver this is what happens, it’s awesome,” Tingle said.

Langevin says his sister is an ICU nurse in San Francisco, so for him, and a lot of the workers on his team, it’s a passion project.

“It makes it a lot easier to put in some extra work and to do some of the stuff that we don’t normally do and it’s invigorating and the whole team feeds off of it,” Langevin said.

Tingle says the company has been working with Kentucky Emergency Management and other companies about how to increase production. But with a national demand for PPE it’s not easy to get everything they need.

“We are looking for the same type of things everybody else is looking for,” Tingle siad. “Elastic right now is really hard to find.”

Despite that, Langevin says Lexmark isn’t done helping. The team is working on about five more projects it hopes to see to fruition.

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Monica Harkins joined the ABC 36 News team in June 2019 as a Multimedia journalist and Anchor/Producer. She’s born and raised in Austin, Texas and headed “North,” as she calls it, to study broadcast journalism and business at the University of Missouri. While at Mizzou she anchored and reported for KOMU 8 News, an NBC affiliate in Columbia, Missouri all four years. During her childhood she played almost every sport, but they always called her “Hollywood” for her love of theatre. In high school, she realized her excitement for theatre and performing was only a small piece of the puzzle. It’s story telling that’s her passion. She’s especially passionate about social media and creative platforms to tell stories. Her most recent experiment is being a FAA certified drone pilot. As a proud Texan she says she’s made of country music, Southern hospitality and Sweet Tea. When she’s not at work you can find her trying new recipes, listening to crime podcasts, reading the latest romance novel or rockin’ out to live music with friends. She says she’s only a tweet or Facebook message away, so say hi and send her the latest on your community. @MonicaHarkinstv or Mharkins@wtvq.com