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Only 3% of electricians are women. Meet one of them.

Next time you turn on your lights, thank workers like Hannah.

Only 3% of electricians are women. Meet one of them.
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Deepwater Horizon

Hannah Cooper is an electrical foreman who absolutely loves her job.

As she talks about her day helping build a new medical office building from the ground up, she's effusive and excited.

"The site is really large. There’s a lot of complicated lighting and signs," she says. "Right now we're working on a four-story building, plus a functional roof and a canopy for solar photovoltaics. It's fun, challenging, and always changing. That's the nature of the job."


Electricity powers our lives, and electricians like Hannah make that happen. They build and maintain our grids and networks. They make sure the lights stay on, the Wi-Fi connects, the Vitamix works, and the garage door opens. They’re highly skilled, essential, and a huge part of what makes our modern world work.

Watch Hannah's story:

Hannah’s mother was the first female electrician in her Los Angeles union. At age 21, Hannah decided to join her and began training to become an electrician.

The electrical journeyman program lasts five years and mixes on-the-job training with time in the classroom. Unlike traditional college programs, it's also paid. Participants in the program are supplied with tools, a voucher for boots and free textbooks, along with a base salary starting at 40% of what a professional journeyman makes. Every six months, participants receive a 5% raise. When they finish the program, they receive a 15% raise, along with their journeyman ticket. "That ticket lasts for life," says Hannah. "It's a guarantee for work as long as you're able."

Hannah was a natural for this kind of work, scoring marks in the top 1% of her class. By 2013, she'd finished her apprenticeship six months early and set out on her own.

But her top-notch performance isn't the only thing that sets her apart in her field. There's also the fact that, like her mom, Hannah's one of the few women.

There are over 750,000 certified electricians in this country. 97% of them are male.

Image via iStock.

There are myriad reasons for this; one is that women aren't often encouraged to work in trades. They're sometimes told it's too dirty for them or too male-dominated and they'll be discriminated against.

Apprenticeship programs are also having a difficult time recruiting female students. Despite 30 years of effort, their numbers are still dismally low. That's particularly unfortunate because, according to Tina Kelly of Canada's Coalition of Women in Engineering, Science, Trades and Technology, "Women are usually in the top 10-15% of their class, but they are almost always among the last 10% to get hired."

For women to become more interested in these jobs, the trades have to become more interested in recruiting and hiring women. That includes instituting policies and practices that provide women with a safe and equitable place to work and actively dispelling stereotypes about the kind of work women can do.

Image via Participant/Deepwater Horizon.

Workforces, much like our world, are changing. Our perceptions of who skilled laborers are should keep up.

Hannah is proud to be a leader in that way.

"When I started my career, I made a choice to not just be successful, but to be visible with my success," she says. While moving into management roles is a longer-term goal for her, she's also focused on being an ambassador of the trades.

"It's a really critical time for this generation — going to college without knowing what they want to do or what they should study, and coming out with a huge amount of debt that's going to burden them forever. It's a good time to be considering the trades," she said.

"But specifically, electrician work," she laughs. "Because we're the best."

Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

Ready for the weekend? Of course, you are. Here's our weekly dose of good vibes to help you shed the stresses of the workweek and put yourself in a great frame of mind.

These 10 stories made us happy this week because they feature amazing creativity, generosity, and one super-cute fish.

1. Diver befriends a fish with the cutest smile

Hawaiian underwater photographer Yuki Nakano befriended a friendly porcupine fish and now they hang out regularly.

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