Reminiscent of the legendary Helen, Patricia Minehardt is responsible for launching a thousand Greek shipsmore or less.

Only Minehardt is using her metallurgical skills over her womanly wiles to set the European nations fleet afloat on the foamy seas.

Minehardt, co-owner and general manager of HK Casting in Weston, recently made 600 water-cooled, iron castings to hold the pistons in Greek navy ship engines. She and her 43 employees make castings, cylinder heads, liners and pistons for industries around the globe.

The Lewis County foundry owner and about 25 other West Virginia manufacturers will display their wares during the Industries of the Future-West Virginia Day at the Legislature Tuesday, Jan. 27, from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. in the Capitol. The manufacturersgovernment and academic partners, including West Virginia University representatives, will also be present.

Industries of the Future-West Virginia is a program that promotes partnerships and projects aimed at increasing energy efficiency, reducing and using waste materials, and improving productivity in energy-intensive industries.

Founded in 1997, the state program is a partnership involving WVU , the U.S. Department of Energy, the West Virginia Development Office and state industry groups. Eight state industries participate in the program: aluminum, steel, metal casting, glass, forest/wood products, chemicals/polymers, mining and cross-cut technology industries.

The innovative programs developed by the IOF -WV metal casting group have been a godsend for HK Casting, which Minehardt and her late husband, Louis, founded in 1989 in partnership with Hatch and Kirk Inc. of Seattle.

By taking spent sand employed in making casting molds and reusing it in approved projects off-site, her company has reduced the amount of sand that goes to landfills and saved $1.5 million, Minehardt said.

For more information about IOF -WV Day at the Legislature, contact Carl Irwin, director, at 304-293-7318 ext. 5403.