NFL players are becoming increasingly aware of the value of blacksmithing and African crafts, and now they are getting the tools they need to make their jobs easier.
A new study by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the African-American Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AACCI) shows that blacksmiths in the U.S. have surpassed the ranks of machinists, electricians, plumbers, electrician assistants and electricians in terms of training, skill sets and knowledge.
The study, titled “What the heck is a blacksmith?”, found that among African-Americans, about 55% of those who have been blacksmith training were African-born and that the training required a college degree.
African- Americans who did not have college degrees accounted for 26% of all blacksmith apprentices, and black-born workers accounted for 27%.
“We know the average age of black Americans with college degrees is over 30,” said AACCI President Joseph S. Cappelli.
“We think this shows a growing trend in African- American apprenticeships, which are also increasing.
We’re seeing more African-Born Americans going into the workforce, so we’re excited about the opportunities.”
The study also found that African-Black apprenticeships are more likely to involve apprenticeship-related technical training, which is why ACCI is working with NIST to improve the blacksmith education requirements and train blacksmith apprentice apprentices.
“This is an important development because it demonstrates that black men and women are taking the opportunity that this industry provides and are going to continue to push it forward,” said Cappellis.
“The apprenticeship system is a key part of our community.
We have the most qualified African-Amish workforce in the country, and this study shows that apprenticeship is a valuable training opportunity for black men, women and children.”
This is not the first time the study has come out, and Cappelis said it was based on surveys and interviews with Blacksmith Instructors across the country.
CAPPELIS: What does a black person do?
“The black man does not have the opportunity to build something in his life,” he said.
“He has to do it on his own, and he has to learn how to do the job on his hands.
We know what a black man is made of, so I think this is really important.
We can build the best equipment we can afford and get it to the best people.
And we know that we can’t afford to not have that opportunity.
This study is a reminder that there are opportunities for us all.”