It started with a simple goal: Finger Lakes Textiles (FLT) wanted to get people back to work. The knitting factory came up with an idea that would employ workers and expand business operations beyond the millions of hats it creates each year. The answer was face masks.
As the COVID-19 Pandemic came to a head, Rob Scott, Executive Director of Cornell Prison Education Program (CPEP), knew that the essential workers and incarcerated persons in New York State Prisons were vulnerable to the spread of the virus. Scott was able to reach out to the New York State Department of Corrections to develop a plan to provide face coverings to those individuals currently incarcerated in the State’s Prison System. CPEP Academic Director, Tess Wheelwright, researched mask design and identified one that best fits the needs of the correctional environment