The Jobs to Move America coalition teamed up with California Institute of Technology for Women's History Month, organizing the Women Can Build photography exhibit.
The exhibit, featuring photographs by Pulitzer Prize winner Deanna Fitzmaurice, reveals the overlooked contributions of skilled and hard-working women who are building our trams, rail and buses.
Jobs to Move hosted several Caltech faculty to comment on how women around the world are achieving and fighting for equal rights, equal pay, equal access, and equal opportunity in the workplace.
The exhibit, its many sponsors ranging from unions to public agencies, features 10 photos and stories of historic and modern “Rosies"--the term coming from the iconic “Rosie the Riveter” who represented women working manufacturing jobs in World War II.
This slideshow features 10 modern-day women, followed by a few images of the historic Rosies who came before them.
"I learned how to weld in an autobody course I took during college but really had no idea where I was going to end up after that. Given my studies, I ended up working in the automotive industry where I got my first job welding. A few years later though, I saw an opportunity to move into the transit side of things and got a job at the New Flyer plant in Minnesota." Continue reading this article here.
“I was a little intimidated with so many male coworkers,” Ruby says. “But I thought, why not take the challenge. I’m so small, I can actually walk under the [rail]car [when it is up on jacks, to be worked on the underside]. And maybe it was me being so little and young, but the guys look out for me, like brothers.” Continue reading this article here.
For over two years, Judith Melendez has been working as a bus painter at the New Flyer factory in St. Cloud. Melendez made her transition into transit manufacturing when after 10 years of working at a vacuum cleaner plant, she decided to change jobs. “At that job, I felt trapped. I knew I could do something else,” she said. Continue reading this article here.
"Since March 2012, I’ve worked at the Nippon Sharyo railcar assembly plant in Rochelle, Illinois. I started out when a temp agency assigned me to write down defects for the customer of the cars in the Quality Assurance (QA) department, and after 90 days, I was hired full time as an inspector." Continue reading this article here.
Today, Ami works on the Interior 2 team, with seven other men. “We probably touch the trains more than anyone else,” Ami says. “There is no typical day, here. We install seats, the rear locker, grab bars, pretty much anything you grab onto inside the train. We’ll build the actual locker, and others will install the electrical components. The tools I use vary, from screwdrivers to torque wrenches, to drills, to rivet guns.” Continue reading this article here.
When she first moved to Minnesota, Brenda worked in a chicken processing plant where she had only one minute to process an entire chicken and had to clock out on bathroom breaks. "I wasn’t made to be a slave,” Brenda says. “When you go from [chicken processing] to New Flyer, you go from hell to heaven.” Continue reading this article here.
"I work inside the garage, the Service and Inspection area called S&I. When [my coworker] Fatima moves the trains inside, we start working inside the cars. We do two cars a day -- the whole thing! It’s detailing, elbow grease, hard cleaning, hard work, not soft cleaning." Continue reading this article here.
"I started out when I was 19 years old. I was part of [federal program] Job Corps, I did OTJ (on-the-job) training for 13 months. I love hands on work. My dad wanted me to be a doctor or a nurse like my sisters. But I wanted to work outside. I loved construction, and I got my license." Continue reading this article here.
"Now, I’m the only woman in the traction motors department. I’ve really enjoyed working there. The men are really helpful to me. I’ve never had a problem working with men, although some of them are kinda old-fashioned. I knew going in that they were gonna show me what to do but not do it for me. And I didn’t want them to!" Continue reading this article here.
Stacey works with the Electrical Team, about 50 people total. Every day is different, Stacey says, “I have a specific area which I’m responsible for…. depending on which area I’m working in, I could be fixing a wire that got broken, doing the wiring from scratch, helping somebody. As an electrical team, we try to always help each other. That’s the best part. All the support means everything to me.” Continue reading this article here.
You can find more information about the women here: http://www.womencanbuild.org/sample-page/articles/
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