Here at HM Manufacturing we realize there is more to a business than just making money. Building relationships with fellow members in our industry and promoting the future of manufacturing is also greatly important to us. This is why our president and CEO Nicole Wolter is an active role model to young women interested in the field of manufacturing.
On Monday, October 30th, 2017, several manufacturing companies participated in a roundtable discussion with Congressman Randy Hultgren. Their discussions focused on how to get young women not only interested in manufacturing careers, but also help them succeed in the field. The event was graciously hosted by Valley Industrial Association president Kathy Gilmore at their headquarters, with industry leaders Janice Christiansen (J.C. Schultz/Flag Source), Rose of Sharon Devos (Pioneer Service Inc.), Gail Hernley (TekPak), Stacia Hobson (Image Industries), Mary Ann Mings (Suncast Corporation), Dr. Christine Sobek (Waubonsee Community College), and our very own Nicole Wolter filling out the rest of the roundtable.
While there is still much work to do, the “Women in Manufacturing” roundtable was able to pin down some good places to start. Nicole believes groups of women should be encouraged to take shop and manufacturing related classes together to better foster support. It is important that manufacturing classes are presented as a valid option for young women; a manufacturing career is not only viable, but also incredibly rewarding. Members of the “Women in Manufacturing” roundtable are partnering with local high schools and colleges, like Waubonsee Community College, to promote manufacturing classes. The members are also working with training organizations, trade schools, and Rep. Hultgren to develop avenues such as paid internships and apprentice programs. The internships and apprentice programs will work towards college credit or certificate programs to better ensure a future for women in manufacturing.
Many young women don’t view manufacturing as a career option, which is why Nicole is dedicated to showing them how rewarding working in manufacturing can be. In addition to participating in roundtables like this one, she is on the advisory board for McHenry High School’s manufacturing program. She also donates her time speaking in front of young women in STEM classes so they can put a face to a potential career choice. HM Manufacturing is committed to offering internships in both our offices and shop to these insightful and intrepid youths. Efforts like these can inspire young women to enter the manufacturing industry and offer new and innovative ideas.