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Three businesses join forces to make masks, provide jobs

The goal is to make 1 million masks and provide 1,000 jobs.

BERWICK, Pa. — Martz Technologies in Berwick is typically full of engineers designing and making automated technologies.

For now, it's instead home to seamstresses, making a special kind of face mask for people all across the U.S.

"We're all getting together on something, which in our world is pretty rare. We're getting together, and we're all on the same page," said Joe Giordano.

It's a collaboration among three different businesses - Martz Technologies and Queen Bee Quilting, both in Berwick, and Noble Biomaterials in Scranton.

Greg Martz, the owner of Martz Technologies, came up with the idea after asking his friend, Debi Giordano, at Queen Bee Quilting to make 12 masks for the employees at Dunkin' Donuts, his favorite breakfast spot.

Now Debi, along with her fellow seamstresses, is tasked with making 1 million masks out of antimicrobial fabric provided by Noble Biomaterials. At least, that's the goal. The business owners will need more workers to accomplish it.

"Greg's vision is, and we're praying with him, to bring 1,000 jobs back to Berwick. Sounds good!  If you can get the material, we'll put some people to work, and we'll start making the mask," said Joe Giordano.

The business owners have hired people to cut fabric and sew masks from home, and they're looking for more.

You'll be provided with the materials and instructions, then you return the finished product to Martz, where it will be washed, dried, packaged, and shipped.

"And then they get paid in cash when they leave. So this is really, for people who are flat out at this time, that's grocery money, that's rent money, whatever they need to pay bills," said Diana Donahue of Martz Technologies.

"And we're giving 20% of the profit back to our community," said Debi Giordano, owner of Queen Bee Quilting.

What makes these masks better than ones you can make yourself?

The masks are made with two layers of cotton and a filter of antimicrobial fabric in between. The filter can't kill viruses, but it can stop bacteria from growing on your mask.

Martz is selling the masks for $10 bucks. They can be shipped anywhere in the country. 

To purchase a mask, or to apply for a job as a seamstress, click here.

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