Andy Kireta Sr., president and CEO of the Copper Development Association (CDA), was honored this month with the Ankh Award for Lifetime Achievement from The Copper Club, Inc., for his many contributions to the copper industry. Andy received the award at The Copper Club’s annual dinner June 4 in New York City. Stuart Thorne, president and CEO of Southwire®, was named Copper Man of the Year. Read more…
North America’s top apprentices showcased their skills and craft at the 26th Annual International Apprenticeship Competition last month at Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor, Mich. Read more…
This is the 12th consecutive year my colleagues and I at CDA will participate in the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) Revlon Run/Walk for Women.
By Bob Weed
The new stations use copper as a conduit to charge the new EV’s, but even more significant is the amount of copper needed in the production of an average EV car – it’s triple the amount used in the production of traditional internal combustion automobiles. Copper provides the conductivity needed to promote energy efficiency which is something that Cathy Zoi, Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at the U.S. Department of Energy, wrote about in the White House Blog. The blog features Coulomb Technologies President and Founder, Richard Lowenthal.
Zoi says that Coulomb Technologies is “making cutting edge stuff” with the manufacturing of its charging stations. Soon more than 20,000 stations will be in place across the nation.
In October, I met with Richard Lowethal at the Center for Automotive Research Conference, “The Business of Plugging In.” We spoke about the essential role copper plays in the advancement of the EVs and the Coulomb Technologies charging stations. According to Richard, there will be about a million plug-in EVs on U.S. roads by 2015. Although this is a small percentage of the 250 million vehicles on the roads today Richard told me that “People who drive the EVs love them.” He also says that copper in the EV batteries contributes to the electric vehicles’ power and acceleration which is a selling point for consumers. According to Richard, “The most critical role for copper in our industry is that it makes high performance electric motors that in turn makes for a superior vehicle to drive.”
That’s exciting news for consumers and for the copper industry too.
The copper industry is pleased to be represented at the SETAC North America 31st Annual Meeting in Portland, Oregon next week by Joe Gorsuch, Manager of Health & Environmental Sciences at the Copper Development Association (CDA) and Bob Dwyer, Associate Director of Health & Environment Program, at the International Copper Association (ICA). Bob and Joe address environmental regulations and work with environmental toxicologists, chemists and engineers to collect ecotox for the copper industry so the meetings and information sharing about scientific studies is very much up their alley.
The Copper in Brake Pads Issue
One of our goals at the conference is to get the message out about our position on the recent brake pad issue. To give a little background, in the past year, the states of California and Washington passed laws that will ultimately limit the amount of copper used in brake pads. The legislation came after years of study, education and cooperation by the Brake Pad Partnership, which was made up of representatives from the auto industry, brake pad manufacturers, environmental groups, stormwater regulatory agencies and coastal cities. The group concluded that copper from brake pads was running off streets into waterways and possibly interfering with aquatic species.
We know that copper is an important, naturally occurring element in bays, streams and oceans. But too much of anything can be harmful, and what the CDA is concerned about is when human activity contributes levels of copper beyond what would be healthy in the aquatic environment. Bob and Joe are ideal representatives for the copper industry at this meeting because of their expertise, research background, and ongoing work in the field of science, specifically biology, environmental sciences, aquatic science and toxicology.
The Essentiality of Copper
It’s important to understand that copper is not intrinsically harmful to the environment. In fact, it’s our goal to educate people about the copper in brake pads issue because typically, problems associated with copper in our environment prove that there are greater concerns about copper deficiency. In fact, Bob Dwyer regularly attends meetings with other environmental experts around the world and is familiar with scientific studies demonstrating that there are massive deficiencies of copper in the feedstock of cattle and other livestock. In some areas outside the U.S., there’s enough of a copper deficiency in the soil that there is actually a livestock reduction problem. Additionally, Bob reports that the European Union loses about 14 billion Euros annually on account of reduced crop production because there isn’t enough copper in the soil in many European countries.
Both Bob and Joe are ideal representatives for the copper industry at this meeting because they can address these important global and domestic issues and are familiar with credible scientific
studies that substantiate copper deficiency claims and the positive effects of copper in the right dosage on aquatic and other wildlife.
If you will be attending the SETAC/Portland Conference, and have any questions about copper, the CDA or the brake pad issue, I encourage you to speak with Joe Gorsuch or Bob Dwyer. They are not only experts on many of these issues but they will also be sure you have solid information.
In addition to Bob Dwyer and Joe Gorsuch, Adam Estelle and Wayne Seale from the Copper Development Association, Michael Hennelly, and Nicole Witoslawski from the International Copper Association will be attending.
Finally, a word about SETAC. The organization’s website states that their mission is “to support the development of principles and practices for protection, enhancement and management of sustainable environmental quality and ecosystem integrity.” This mission resonates with us at the CDA, because we believe strongly in sustainable practices in the many uses of copper.
By Harold Moret, CDA Project Manager and Piping Applications Specialist
Harold Moret, a CDA piping applications specialist, spends each June judging young people participating in the SkillsUSA Championships, sponsored by the National Leadership and Skills Conference (NLSC). More than 15,000 people, including students, teachers and business partners come to the event each year in Kansas City. The 46th annual event in 2010 will be June 20-25 in Kansas City.
If it’s not in a kid’s blood to become a lawyer or a doctor, a trade is an alternative career for them. SkillsUSA works in conjunction with high schools and technical colleges so kids can learn trade skills that help them to be successful in pursuing a career. As a part of the program, they can also choose to show their skills by competing against one another in local, state and national competitions. The SkillsUSA Championships is the final, premier showcase of their skills. There are all kinds of trades represented at the conference – plumbing, electronics, hair cutting, air craft mechanics – and more.
June 2010 will be the 5th year I’ve participated as a judge in the SkillsUSA plumbing contest. The contests are run through donations by the industry and with the help of people like me, who’ve been in the business a long time and want to help students to learn their trades properly from the bottom up.
My part is to judge the copper installation. In the contest, copper is used for all of the water lines. The plumbing students have a platform that represents a bathroom – it’s eight feet by four feet. There’s a sink, shower, and commode all on the little table and they have 8 hours to put them all together and to make them work. They have to install all the fixtures, the water going to them, and the drain and vent lines. There’s a group of seven or eight judges who judge each part and make sure that all contestants work in a safe manner. It’s tough to watch them start out as they shake out their nerves. It gives us all a sense of pride when the students do a good job and also have fun with each other as they compete.
But there’s still a lot of work to do in educating our young people. I tell the young students, if they apply themselves, the sky’s the limit in any industry they decide to go into. A lot of them are there because they know they can make good money. But I also want to see them put their heart into their work.
I find teaching very satisfying, especially when I help a journeyman understand how to work to today’s installation standards. They tell me, “You know, I’ve been doing this wrong for 20 years.” It feels good when they see how my approach makes sense. I tell them it will feel awkward at first and you feel like you’re starting all over again. But it doesn’t take long for them to put a joint together so easily they don’t even have to think about it. It feels great to teach the older people how to do it properly too. If they do it well, they can then pass on that skill to their apprentices.