It was encouraging to read the “Manufacturing Diversity: Shorthanded-producers open arms to female apprentices” story in the May 23 issue of HBJ. The feature about Hannah Lenoce’s experience as an apprentice toolmaker at Cheshire’s Marion Manufacturing is truly inspiring on multiple levels.
It speaks not only to the energy and enthusiasm Lenoce demonstrates, but also to the serious challenge facing manufacturers in Connecticut and around the country — how to attract young talent, both men and women, to meet the needs of this expanding industry.
As the article points out, women are dramatically underserved in the manufacturing ranks. Only one in four of the country’s manufacturing workers is a woman. The decades-old dark, dank and dirty image of manufacturing overshadows the industry and discourages women from even considering the field.