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February 20, 2009



We're a local history center with a blacksmith shop in a downtown park. We teach blacksmithing through the local adult school - they advertise it in their periodic mailing to every local resident, pay the instructor, cover workers comp, etc. The students are 95% male, with a high percentage retirement age. Most students join our organization and stay active for years. And while most of our members are local residents, the students come from a much wider geographical area. They have done a ton of volunteer work for our organization that is not related to blacksmithing. These are guys that like to work with their hands and figure things out. When we need something repaired or built there is often someone involved with the shop that has the necessary skills, be it wood working, fiberglass, stonework, etc.

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