The interactive display Puget Sound Naval Shipyard & Intermediate Maintenance Facility showcased at Seattle’s 40th Annual Women in Trades Fair was a huge hit with attendees.
“Getting folks engaged in understanding the trades is much easier when we can have them touch something,” said Michelle Indermuhle a Shop 57 work leader and PSNS & IMF’s Women in Trades co-lead. “Everyone is interested to hear what we do over here. I know the human resources and apprenticeship folks were busy, busy!”
Nearly 30 tradeswomen and other PSNS & IMF teammates representing 15 shops and codes trekked to the Fisher Pavilion to join with more than 90 other exhibitors to show young people the exciting careers available in various trades. Although the primary focus is on teens exploring career options, others attend including those interested in making job changes and people curious about trades work. Exhibitors spanned from government agencies to private industry and included colleges, apprenticeship programs and unions.
The shipyard was the largest exhibitor at the fair. Hannah Wright, a sheet metal mechanic for Shop 17, found the event empowering due to the variety of people and vendors who participate. Wright noted an added bonus: networking with fellow shipyard tradeswomen.
“We got to hear about the other shops and codes in a more detailed way from the many women from different trades that represented the shipyard at this event,” said Wright who also participated last year. “We really do work in a great place ... being able to share the event with other women from the shipyard is special.”
Kerstyn Tsuruda, shop planner for Shop 38 Outside Machinists, echoed Wright’s comments about networking with teammates as well as those outside the shipyard.
“It was an opportunity to educate ourselves and see what other trades support our communities outside of the shipyard,” said Tsuruda. She also appreciated that WIT was educating the next generation to show them “they can achieve any goal they set their focus on,” she said.
Moonshine Lab’s Ron Zmijewski summed up the event.
“The WIT team undoubtedly opened many eyes and influenced the next generation of tradeswomen.”
For more information contact the PSNS & IMF Women in Trades, a subcommittee of Professional Women Employee Networking Group, by calling 360.476.9712 or emailing brem.psns.pweng.FCT@navy.mil. Meetings are held the fourth Thursday of the month from 10 to 11 a.m.