Get involved with Project MFG!

March is women in History month and we would like to aknowldedge the women who have made substantial contributions to the skilled trades throughout history.  Below are a few of the women who have been crucial in constructing iconic structures, supporting war efforts through machining and welding and paving the way for women in the future. 

Emily Warren Roebling

 A notable example of this is the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge in 1869. Emily Warren Roebling, the wife of the lead engineer, Washington Roebling, played a crucial role in overseeing the bridge’s construction. When her husband became ill, she assumed his responsibilities. Upon its completion in 1883, she made history by being the first to cross the Brooklyn Bridge.

Rosie the riveter

During World War II, Rosie the Riveter became an iconic symbol of women’s empowerment and the skilled trades industry. She was featured in a U.S. government campaign aimed at recruiting women for defense industries while men were serving in the military. Rosie’s image, depicted as a strong and capable woman wearing a red bandana and flexing her muscles, was widely used in posters and ads with the slogan “We Can Do It!”

This period sparked a revolution for women from diverse backgrounds to break free from stereotypes associated with traditionally female roles such as nursing, caregiving, and teaching. Instead, they ventured into factories and shipyards, excelling in trades typically dominated by men such as manufacturing, construction, assembly, welding, electrical work, riveting, and more. Notably, during WWII, the second-largest group of working women, totaling 2.3 million, were employed in manufacturing industries.

Mae Krier

As a result of the campaign, a group called the “Rosie’s” emerged. One of these women was Mae Krier, who worked on the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress and B-29 Superfortress bombers from 1943 until the end of the war in 1945. This was a tough and often hazardous job, as it required the workers to operate complex machinery and work long hours.

Despite the challenges, Krier and her fellow Rosie’s played a crucial role in the war effort. After the war, Krier continued to serve as a Rosie, but in a different capacity. She spoke publicly in front of Congress, the Pentagon, and throughout the country about the importance of the Rosie’s to the nation. Even at the age of 94, Krier is still campaigning for Congress to recognize the Rosie’s with the Congressional Gold Medal and establish an annual Rosie the Riveter Day. Krier’s dedication to honoring the Rosie’s is a testament to the impact these women had on the war effort and the workforce.

Judaline Cassidy

Along with Krier, who remains dedicated to advancing opportunities for women in the trades, are women like Judaline Cassidy. She is a tradeswoman activist who founded Tools & Tiaras, a non-profit organization with a mission to break stereotypes and demonstrate the true potential of women in any field they choose. Tools & Tiaras aims to empower girls by teaching them trade skills through exposure, inspiration, and mentorship.

Judaline, a plumber with over 25 years of experience, advocates for better collaboration between the skilled trade industry and school counselors to introduce students to apprenticeship opportunities. She is committed to reshaping the perception of trades careers and highlighting the value and significance of skilled trades, likening them to esteemed professions like doctors and lawyers.

Shanen Aranmór

We would be remiss to not mention Shanen L. Aranmór, a member of Project MFG and owner of “Weld Like a Girl”, in Yuma Arizona. Shanen is dedicated to advancing opportunities for women in the trades. 

Weld Like A Girl™ is an empowerment project for girls and women, using welding and creativity to boost self-esteem and provide a safe space to explore the mysterious world of welding and cutting hot metal. 

Her proficiency in welding serves as a felame roll model and provides girls and women the opportunity to see how badass they really are. 

Thank you to all the women, both past and present, who help us promote the importance of the skilled trades!