HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY!
As a quality metal shop that has the utmost respect for all skilled tradespeople, we would be remiss in allowing International Women’s Day to pass without a mention. With an additional passion for all things kitsch and retro, it would be incomprehensible not to post a pic of a true icon, Rosie the Riveter:
She evokes a sense of hard, brass-tacks-type work (a “just do it” attitude perhaps?), war time images, factories, machines, sheet metal(!), and strong, powerful women! We love her. The truth is, women are still grossly underrepresented in the skilled trades, and we think that’s a shame. Some of the best welding jobs we’ve ever seen have been done by women, and quite frankly, we haven’t seen nearly enough of them. The Canadian government has a few initiatives at play that attempt to promote apprenticeship programs, and, hell, some that even target young women, but it’s obvious that the real work out there is being done by offshoot organisations that are able to better focus their agenda. Some notable ones are: Women Building Futures, a Canadian-based company whose mandate is to attract more women to construction trades, and provide mentorship and training programs; Canadian Construction Women is another Canadian-based org promoting women in trades; And a very cool initiative is operating out of California. It’s called WINTER, Women In Non Traditional Employment Roles, and they have a specific Rosie the Riveter Youth Program. This program is unique because it seeks out young women who are already struggling within the mainstream U.S. public high-school system. Free Construction and Building trades training are the focus of this program, and frankly, as advocates of the alternative school system in general, we believe their commitment to small class sizes and one-on-one mentoring can only serve to advance not only the skilled trades and potentially the lives of these young women, but also all those wonderful images that Rosie stands for (well, except for war. We don’t actually like that one).
HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY!
We like copper. We like it for aesthetic reasons, specifically when used as ornamental roofing or other outdoor accents, because that’s the stuff we dig and the stuff we dig making. But this versatile metal is being used widely, most notably in the healthcare sector, and it’s really quite cool. Scientists are still studying the metal’s antimicrobial properties and the far-reaching implications of these qualities. Pathogens and bacterium can survive weeks on stainless steel surfaces (another beloved metal!), whereas these baddies have a 1-2 hour shelf-life on most copper alloy surfaces. Think of the implications to hospitals! Stainless steel sure looks clean and sterile, but given the germ-breeding ground of a hospital environment, is it really a death trap in disguise? No, no, we’re not advocates of mass-hysteria, nor are we germaphobes, but we do understand that you need to use the right metal for the job. Though there’s still a long way to go, we’re excited that more and more hospitals and doctors offices are making the shift to copper surfaces and implements. Wouldn’t it be nice to reduce hospital-acquired infections simply by using the right metal?