06 Apr 2017
From Lobster Traps to Border FencingTopics:
Photo by Webb Chappell
A Massachusetts firm that makes wire mesh for lobster traps says its technology could save millions in building the US-Mexico border wall proposed by President Donald Trump.
"It's difficult to climb, it's difficult to cut—I think it just makes more sense than a concrete wall, or a bollard wall, or an expanded metal wall,” says Jim Knott Sr. (OPM 17, 1991), president and CEO of Riverdale Mills Corporation. In a recent interview with the Voice of America News, Knott noted that Riverdale’s security fencing is already in use along nearly 50 miles of the border in Arizona as well as at airports, prisons, and nuclear facilities. The fences have mesh openings that are too small to allow people to get a grip with their fingers or to allow a cutter to work effectively.
Knott sees the possibility of a big order from the US government as both a boon and a challenge to his company, which currently employs 185 people and has openings for another 35. "Adding people might be a challenge,” Knott said, “but our plant pays a good wage and people, I think, are fairly happy here."
Class of OPM 17