Western Technical College trains women in manufacturing

Machinists, welders in demand

Women make up nearly half of America’s workforce, but only hold one-third of the nation’s manufacturing jobs. Manufacturers across the state are trying to change that.

Companies like Milwaukee-based Harley Davidson say it’s good business for its workforce to look like its customers. That’s why Harley is reaching out to women to fill more of its skilled positions.

There are more than 12-million manufacturing jobs in the U.S. and the industry is looking for machinists and welders.

Western Technical College is one of the many schools in the U.S. preparing both male and female students to take on those skilled jobs.

“The industry throughout the state is looking for skilled labor, for skilled welder, that’s what’s kind of driving this force,” said Jeff Cermak of Western Technical College.

Cermak says the three women who graduated from Western’s welding program last year were actually the first three graduates to find jobs.