I hope you're excited for our new online platform to collaborate with our peers and colleagues on MFG Women!
A part of this group, we have individuals from manufacturing companies, community leaders, educators, and more! The common thread? We are all interested in promoting and discussing the importance of women in manufacturing! While some of you may know one another, there are still plenty of new names and faces to learn. So, I would love for us to introduce ourselves! Share your name, company/organization, and why you're passionate about promoting and advancing women in manufacturing.
I will kick us off: I'm AJ Jorgenson, AVP of Strategic Engagement at The Manufacturing Institute and I have had the privilege to run the STEP Ahead initiative for the past two years. For those who aren't familiar, the STEP Ahead Awards is our annual Awards dinner where we honor 130 women in manufacturing for their accomplishments in their careers. Over my 7 years at the NAM/Institute, I've had the opportunity to meet and see all of the incredible women in manufacturing share what they make, the pride in what they do, and how they're making a difference in the world. STEP Ahead is such an inspiring initiative, and we need to be doing more! That's why I am so excited to see and take part in the important discussions to be had and the resources we can share on this platform.
My name is Carolyn Lee. I am Executive Director of The Manufacturing Institute, and as AJ said, we are delighted to provide this online community for manufacturers, community partners, and more to discuss MFG Women. This past year, the Institute has made huge strides in supporting and promoting women in manufacturing. As today is International Women's Day, we thought it would be appropriate to kick off today's celebration and recognition with this new platform. Women are such a crucial part of our workforce, and we're here to connect manufacturers with the current and future talent out there to help them succeed. Part of our mission is to help women understand the multitude of career opportunities this industry holds. With more than 364,000 open manufacturing jobs we know that manufacturers are facing a skills gap, and women are part of the solution.
I also wanted to give a special shout out to the new class of 130 women, who we announced on March 1, being recognized at the 2018 STEP Ahead Awards. Check out their stories here!
I look forward to the continued discussion in this community, and please reach out to me or my team with any questions.
Hi All!My name is Heidi Dirgins, I am currently the Vice President of Barnes Enterprise System for Barnes Group. In my role, I lead our operating system that results in productivity improvements and engagement of employees from around the world. This allows me to leverage my 30 plus years in manufacturing. I recently was the VP of Barnes Aerospace OEM for which I was given this honor. In this capacity, I had the privilege of leading over 500 people producing complex machining and Fabrication - Hot form / Superplastic forming for aerospace products that support Airframe, Nacelles and engines.We just celebrated our 160 years in business. I am very proud to be part of company a company that truly believes in their values, sets the right tone from the top and continuously seeks to take the business to the next level through leveraging the bright minds of their employees.Look forward to seeing you all in April.Heidi Dirgins
Good afternoon! My name is Heidi Alderman, and I am Senior Vice President of BASF Intermediates Division in North America. I have had more than 30 years career experience in the chemical manufacturing industry and I can’t tell how you energized I feel by the STEP Ahead program, and everything it stands for to make a difference through the power of women! I am truly passionate about encouraging women in the workforce to take chances, get out of their comfort zone, and succeed.
I am excited to contribute to the conversation, learn from others, and carry this momentum forward.
My husband & I own Westside Finishing located in Holyoke, MA. We are a job shop powder coating company working for area job shops and manufacturers. We also provide silk screen services on metal parts. We currently have about 60 employees and that number keeps growing every year. We are currently planning an expansion for 2018/2019. We have outgrown our current facility and need additional space. You can learn more about our company at www.wsfinish.com.
Jeanne L Bell
Westside Finishing Co., Inc.
15 Samosett Street
Holyoke, MA 01040
Direct Fax 413-315-6591
Hi everyone! My name is Robin Wiener and I am President of the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, a trade association representing those companies that process, broker and consumer scrap metal, paper, plastics, glass, textiles, rubber and electronics. I have been a member of NAM for almost 20 years and am also a past chair of the NAM Council of Manufacturing Associations. I am thrilled to see NAM take an active role supporting women in manufacturing. At ISRI I have struggled to find the right mechanism for bringing more women forward and also getting them active within ISRI, their trade association and look forward to hearing suggestions and ideas for what I can do to better support women in my industry. I have been with ISRI for 29 years and have rarely seen more than a handful of women at any event.
On a related note, I am an engineer with two daughters and am excited about activities that promote women in STEM. I look forward to meeting everyone and helping to build a very strong community for women in manufacturing!! Robin
Robin K Wiener
President, Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries
1250 H St., NW, Suite 400 | Washington, DC 20005| (202) 662-8512 | www.isri.org|www.ISRISafety.org
My name is Seema Pajula, and I am the Vice Chairman and U.S. Consumer & Industrial Products Industry Leader at Deloitte, a board member of the National Association of Manufacturers, and I am proudly serving as the Manufacturing Institute's 2018 STEP Ahead Vice Chair. I am thrilled to be working with great leaders like Jay Timmons, President and CEO of The NAM, and Carolyn Lee, Executive Director of The Institute. Most importantly, I am excited to be working with each of you to champion the development, advancement and leadership of women in manufacturing.
This is such an exciting time. We are witnessing a fundamental transformation in how innovation and technology are changing the landscape of manufacturing. More than ever, it is vitally important that we work together to help women embrace the multitude of opportunities brought about by these new changes, to ensure we are employing and retaining the very best and brightest talent in our industry.
This is a time to share our passion with others, to boldly reach out and share our vision for the future of our industry. This is the time to create a legacy, to be leaders and mentors for women everywhere, and harness their potential to achieve the extraordinary.
I'd like to congratulate the 100 Honorees and 30 Emerging Leaders who will be recognized as STEP Ahead award winners at the upcoming STEP Ahead leadership event and awards gala on April 10. I look forward to seeing many of you there!
When we come together in the manufacturing community to leverage the STEP Ahead women in manufacturing initiative, we can accomplish great things. In fact, STEP Honorees are ambassadors - 672 have been recognized over the past 5 years and this community of ambassadors has impacted over 300,000, from peers in the industry to school-age children.
Again, I am honored to serve as Vice Chair of STEP Ahead and look forward to continuing the dialogue about this important initiative.
My name is Carol Lunn and I am the Assistant Vice President for Research and Economic Development at the University of New Orleans (UNO). The National Center for Advanced Manufacturing (NCAM), located at the NASA Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, is home to the partnership between NASA, the State of Louisiana, Louisiana State University, and UNO.
NCAM, originally formed in 1999, is a state of the art research and production center focused on applying advanced manufacturing technologies to lightweight composite and metallic materials in support of the NASA space program and adjacent industries. NCAM also has a strong educational role, sponsoring a coalition of Louisiana research universities, workforce development programs and STEM outreach initiatives.