It’s not just a man’s job

As U.S. manufacturing becomes more competitive through engineering and innovation, more women are joining the work force. Labor-intensive jobs are being replaced by computer-aided machining, and about a third of all manufacturing workers today are women.

The United States is facing a skilled labor shortage. Throughout the country community colleges and trade schools are forming strategic partnerships with manufacturers to establish training programs. The jobs of tomorrow require advanced education, opening opportunities for both men and women.

Its true, skilled workers are earning healthy wages. At Master Power Transmission, we seek to attract, retain and develop talented women.

Suanne Gilbert, who has worked in assembly, is now operating a CNC gear grinder at Master PT. Her background was in accounting.

“Rather than sitting at a computer all day, I like the hands-on work,” she said. “I feel like I can be myself on the shop floor more so than in an office environment.”

In a recent story on, a manufacturing trade school in Illinois saw its enrollment quadrupled to 140 students in a year. Part of their mission is to see more women enrolling in their school.

“The stereotype is that factory jobs require a lot of heavy lifting,” Diana Peters of Symbol Job Training Inc. told “It’s the complete opposite. So much of manufacturing today is high-tech and computerized. Women can do these jobs and be very successful.”

The company recently hired its first female instructor in CNC machining. April Senase, who has worked 13 years in manufacturing, said she gets asked, “Why do you want to do this? You’re going to get dirty.”

“Yes, but at least I can afford to buy good soap,” she joked with

At Master PT, we employ visionaries and experienced technicians, regardless or race or gender. It’s all part of our journey together in rewriting the rules of American manufacturing.