Shaheen Participates in Lydall Performance Materials Groundbreaking Expansion to Accommodate New Lines to Ramp Up PPE Material Production

July 24, 2020

**Senator Shaheen was Instrumental in Helping Lydall Secure a $13.5M Defense Contract to Increase N95 Material Mask Production**

**Earlier, Shaheen Meets with Senior UNH Administrators for Briefing on Campus Re-Opening, Discusses Future COVID-19 Legislative Relief Priorities**

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, delivered remarks and participated in the groundbreaking ceremony for Lydall Performance Materials’ expansion to house two new production lines that will produce materials used in N95 masks. The new lines are supported by a $13.5 million federal contract the company secured with the Departments of Defense (DOD) and Health and Human Services (HHS), with funding provided through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. With assistance from Senator Shaheen’s office, Lydall representatives connected with the Department of Defense to apply for the contract. Lydall Performance Materials is an international company, with operations in Rochester. The Granite State manufacturer produces fabric used in N95 masks and is one of only a handful in the United States that makes this fabric.  

“The $13.5 million contract that made this day possible was an award I fought for by working closely with the leadership of Lydall and making it clear to the Department of Defense that this company is up to the task,” said Shaheen. “The quick work to begin building these production lines really affirms why we – as a nation – need to prioritize local manufacturing of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other key products needed to fight this virus. This contract comes at a critical time as COVID-19 cases continue to increase across the country and will help Lydall produce 1.7 billion masks per year to provide essential PPE to frontline workers. Thank you to all of the Lydall employees who are coming to work every day – putting the health of others before their own – so those on the frontlines can do their jobs safely.” 

Earlier in Durham, Senator Shaheen visited the University of New Hampshire (UNH) to meet with administrators to discuss the university’s plans and safety protocols to re-open the campus for students in the fall amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Shaheen also discussed her priorities in future COVID-19 relief legislation, which includes support for students and higher education institutions financially impacted by the pandemic. Shaheen was briefed by Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Wayne Jones and other senior administrators from the university.

“Ensuring the health and safety of our students, from kindergarten to college, is top of mind for all of us, which is why it is vital that there be comprehensive plans and protocols in place ahead of the new school year,” said Shaheen. “I appreciated the opportunity to sit down with University of New Hampshire administrators to learn more about what steps they’re taking to keep students and staff safe as the fall semester approaches. That’s why I’m fighting for additional relief for students and higher education institutions in future COVID-19 response legislation so they have the resources they need to get through this crisis. Navigating the unprecedented challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic demands the very best from all of us to develop a strategy that safeguards the health and safety of our students, faculty and communities without compromising access to education.”