20:05 PM

Mohawk alumnus part of the positive pandemic response

Throughout the COVID-19 public health crisis, amid the statistics and challenges we have heard about in the news, there have also been many stories about how people are making a positive difference. Many Mohawk College alumni have been among the quiet army of people who have been working to keep the community healthy, safe and strong. In an ongoing series of brief articles, we would like to introduce you to some of those Mountaineer alumni and share their gestures of kindness in tough times.

When Lance Snively was forced to self-isolate for two weeks after returning home from an out-of-country trip in mid-March, he wanted the time to be constructive. So, he started building parts for face shields for healthcare personnel.

As a Senior Detailer at Walters Inc., Snively (Architecture Technology, ’78) was able to work from home during his self-isolation. During that time, he came across a call for help from a regional Slack group (a topic-focussed online community) that was initiating The Community Shield initiative. The group was looking for 3D printing hobbyists to create parts for PPE face shields, based on approved designs that they could download.

“Having close relatives in the nursing field, active and retired, I wanted to help their efforts by helping to keep our frontline emergency workers safe,” Snively told his colleagues at the time. One of his sisters is a retired nurse, and a niece is currently in the healthcare field.

Snively started working with 3D printing as a hobby a few years ago, designing and creating customized items at home. He is a lifelong learner; returning to Mohawk to earn his Construction Estimation certificate in the ’80s and again for some SOLIDWORKS classes. More recently, he has taken a couple of 3D Printing classes at Mohawk. Now the 22-year Walters employee is involved in 3D printing in his work, as well, creating scale models for the steel construction company’s projects, as required.

By the end of his self-isolation, Snively had printed the headbands and bottom reinforcing bars for 40 face shields as part of The Community Shield initiative. His parts were collected, sanitized and delivered to the company for distribution to frontline workers somewhere in SW Ontario.

Snively doesn’t need to know where his shields ended up. He takes a little pride in knowing that he was able to make a small contribution to our collective effort to contain and control the spread of COVID-19.

“The [Slack group] cause caught my interest,” he says. “I had some time on my hands and thought I could help out.”