MFG Women

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Stepping Out of the Crowd

  • 1.  Stepping Out of the Crowd

    Posted 14 days ago
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    ​Good Morning Lovely Ladies!
             Albert Einstein said, "The woman who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The woman who walks alone is likely to find herself in places no one has ever been before." Starting my journey in Manufacturing as a welder, and becoming a female first, I felt I had stepped away from "the crowd". In my small world that would consist of what others I went to school did. However, as a local titleholder who will compete for the title of Mrs. Virginia America, with the chance to compete for Mrs. America 2019, I am starting to see "the crowd" has changed for me. It is exhilarating to bridge these worlds of "dirty work" and "beauty". There are so many misconceptions on both sides. In a little over a week I may receive the title of Mrs. Virginia 2019. I know what I am doing in the community and what I will do if I win or not, I have ALREADY won.
          Think of the "crowds" you allow yourself to follow due to maybe fear or comfort. We have so much to offer this world and especially the Manufacturing community. Education sometimes causes us to limit ourselves. I challenge you to educate yourselves and use that coupled with your eternal instinct to change communities! I am "Changing the Perspective of Manufacturing one Conversation at a Time." Beauty is not external or weak and dirty hands are not ugly or inferior! I hope this inspires you! Feel free to leave a comment or ask a question!


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    Kelli Gilliam
    Mrs. Denbigh 2019 "Changing the Perspective of Manufacturing"
    Apprentice Craft Instructor/Welding Foreman
    Huntington Ingalls Industries-NNS
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  • 2.  RE: Stepping Out of the Crowd

    Posted 13 days ago
    Kelli:  Loved your story, and the am inspired by the idea of Stepping Out of the Crowd.  Most women in manufacturing (myself included) have found themselves as an "only" on more than 1 occasion.  It can be intimidating, and exhilarating, depending on the day. Thank you for what you are doing. Good luck with your event...there will be a whole team of women in manufacturing rooting for you.

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    Beth Swanson
    Pioneer Service Inc.
    ADDISON IL
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  • 3.  RE: Stepping Out of the Crowd

    Posted 11 days ago
    Hello Kelli,

    Do I have your permission to use your eloquently stated quote in my attempt to encourage other young women to consider a future in manufacturing?

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    Linda Froehlich
    Co-President/Owner
    Ace Wire Spring & Form Co., Inc.
    McKees Rocks PA
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  • 4.  RE: Stepping Out of the Crowd

    Posted 9 days ago
    OMG a great story, beauty coexisting with productive and practical.  (In the same vein, service technicians at a garage once changed my car radio to classical music!)  If trades and technical careers are to be more esteemed, it has to come from valuing the acquisition of skills and knowledge, and their application in a consistent and compliant way.  Today, we mostly value passion, inspiration, and a vaguely defined creativity, good in their place but they won't revive the middle class.  I've read more of your amazing story, and hope everyone can hear about it!