26 October, 2016
The Alabama Technology Network at Gadsden State Community College hosted Girls Employed in Manufacturing Day today at the Bevill Center.
“GEM Day is dedicated to inspiring young women to seek careers in manufacturing,” said Gregg Bennett, ATN-Gadsden director. “Though we have seen improvement, women are underrepresented in manufacturing. According to the U.S. Bureau of Statistics, women make up 47 percent of the labor force but only 29 percent of the manufacturing workforce.”
Area high school guidance counselors selected junior and senior girls to participate in GEM Day. Participating schools include Sardis High, Hokes Bluff High, Glencoe High and Etowah High.
“They are given the opportunity to participate in activities that provide them with a real world view of manufacturing careers,” said Becky Estes, coordinator of GEM Day. “We want them to actually experience the production process and see manufacturing at work.”
The day started with a Lean Tube Factory Experience, a hands-on exercise in Lean Manufacturing. The Role Models Lunch and Learn followed.
“We asked local women who work or have worked in a manufacturing environment to speak to the girls about their real-life manufacturing experience,” Estes said. “Each of them related their personal experiences as a woman in manufacturing.”
Participants in the panel discussion were Sharon Ingle from ATN-Gadsden; Audrey Webb, a manufacturing technology instructor at Gadsden State’s Ayers Campus; Carolyn Minerich from Carmin Industries and Mary Vervynckt from Inteva.
GEM Day concluded with a tour of Inteva, a local automotive supplier.
“We want the girls to see that manufacturing does have a place for them,” Estes said. “There’s an incredible amount of potential for women in the industrial sector. We want them to realize their potential for growth in the workforce as they enter adulthood.”
About Alabama Technology Network: The Alabama Technology Network is a part of the Alabama Community College System and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership. ATN’s team of experts helps solve the needs of industry and business through innovative, sustainable, cost-effective solutions. ATN conducts detailed needs assessments, outlines potential solutions based on results and provides technical assistance to help companies solve problems.