During Women in Manufacturing Day at Cummins Jamestown Engine Plant, Plant Manager Anna Dibble asks a group of 75 girls from local middle and high schools to raise their hands if they already know what they want to be when they grow up. Most do not raise their hand. She tells those girls: “I was in your same shoes… I would never have written my career path the way it has gone and I don’t know what is happening next.”
However, Anna is happy with how things have worked out. “If you are interested in manufacturing, the opportunities are endless,” she says. “Even after 30 years, I have never felt like I have been limited by what I can be.”
She tells girls: “Just go see it! I think there have been some misperceptions about what manufacturing is, what women’s roles and opportunities are. If you are interested, go look at manufacturing facilities and understand what opportunities are there….When you come in you will see that ‘Hey it’s clean, other women work here, it’s not heavy lifting.’ There are roles for women throughout the manufacturing facility.”
Anna believes apprenticeship at Cummins is very beneficial. “This plant would not be what it is without the apprenticeship program. Those skills are needed!” She notes that the Cummins plant is 45 years old and technology has changed a lot over the years. The company “needs people who can grow with the times, to continue to advance.” Apprenticeship trains people on new technologies and this allows the company to stay competitive in the marketplace.
Learn more about the American Apprenticeship Initiative here.