Bill Nemitz’s Press Herald column highlighting seamstress Kim Williams and her 13 employees constructing needed protective gowns for first responders during COVID 19 was a delight to read (“Saving lives and paying the bills, one gown at a time” May 14.)

Ms. Williams is one of many seamstresses and tailors who have put their sewing skills to good use during this pandemic.

I have been struck by the thought that somewhere these people acquired sewing skills. There have been a handful of these helpers being teenagers. But the bulk of those highlighted seem to be of the age where it is likely they learned how to sew in a Home Economics class.

In 2017, Maine State Representative Thomas Saviello sponsored a bill to bring Home Economics and Industrial Arts back into all our public schools. His bill failed. One argument was that the Technical Schools are in place for learning hands-on skills. However, many students are enrolled in other courses of study, thus attending a Technical School is not feasible. Fitting in a semester or two of Home Ec or Industrial Arts is more possible.

I am a sewing teacher at an arts center in Maine. It is only the privileged who can afford to take my classes. With Home Ec programs being cut in our public schools, I wonder if we will have seamstresses and tailors in future generations to come to sew should the world need them.

It is my hope that more consideration be given to bringing Home Economics back in our schools.

Lucy Webb Hardy


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