Modern Machine Shop

NOV 2018

Modern Machine Shop is focused on all aspects of metalworking technology - Providing the new product technologies; process solutions; supplier listings; business management; networking; and event information that companies need to be competitive.

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Workforce Development Modern Machine Shop 81 Chippewa Valley Technical College (CVTC), she chose to go the extra mile and continue her studies by completing the school's two-year welding fabri- cation program, which is designed to extend skills and widen job opportunities. With three years of post-graduate training on top of the foundation that was laid at Cardinal, Global recognized the value, knowledge and skillset she could bring to its workforce. She was finally able to secure her posi- tion there in 2016. While working hard and proving that she is actually a good welder "for being a girl" is what earned her the job, Ms. Kensmoe says it is her attitude and personality that has helped her fit in on the shop f loor. "You can't get offended easily by anything that is said or done. You have to be 'one of the guys.'" That being the case, she says she doesn't encounter as much resistance to her being on the shop f loor by her own generation as she has encountered from the previous ones—a sign that things are slowly changing. "I had a couple older guys in tech school tell me that women are not meant to weld. When I informed them that I was CVTC Welding Club president for a year and a half, they were shocked. You learn to brush it off. You just have to prove them wrong." Ms. Kensmoe feels at home welding at Global, so much so that she wasn't nervous about announcing her recent pregnancy at work. She says everyone was very excited for her and helped make accommodations when she was put on a 20-pound weight restriction. At the time of this writing, she was temporarily transferred to light-cell duty, where she puts wires in the lights that go in Global's paint booths. While some people are hired specifically for this job, she says others are moved to this more physically accommodating position when they have surgery or get hurt. Global always finds a place for its employees, she notes. After her 10-week maternity leave, Ms. Kensmoe plans to return to her welding job, the role in which she feels most at home. More than that, she wants to return to welding because that is the work that she was hired to do. "I don't work a day in my life because I love welding so much," she says. Ms. Kensmoe's welding career began in eighth grade under the mentorship of teacher Craig Cegielski and the Eleva-Strum High School's vocational program, Cardinal Manufacturing. Read the full story we wrote about the program in 2012 at . Photo: Todd Schuett, Creative Technology Corp. While no longer welding for the remainder of her pregnancy due to fume and weight restrictions, Ms. Kensmoe revisited Cardinal Manufacturing to shoot a quick welding demonstration for this article and reconnect with the teacher and program that helped guide her career choice. Photo: Dana Kensmoe

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