by Lisa Brunette
It was 2007, and Sara Bowles found herself out of a job. She’d survived the first round of layoffs at Westport Shipyard in Hoquiam, but the second one swiped a position as metal polisher right out from under her.
“I loved that job,” she says, recalling with fondness how she often came home covered in metal dust. “It was a killer job for the area, too. Close to town, good benefits, weekends off.”
The problem was, the maritime pleasure craft industry wasn’t exactly recession proof. She did finish work on metal handrails and other parts that went into multimillion dollar yachts, and when the economy tanked, there wasn’t as much call for those.