ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO)— Women’s of Today’s Manufacturing (WOTM) celebrated manufacturing day on Thursday with an event hoping to bring awareness to the need for young people in the industry.
“WOTM was founded so that we could support the workforce development in our community, and especially encourage education in young men and women. Encourage them going into replace us as we get older, or learn new things and bring new ideas to us,” said Teresa Beach-Shelow, a Founding Member of WOTM.
Beach-Shelow is the owner and president of Superior Joining Technologies. She said she has a strong passion for the manufacturing industry and encourages growth, especially for women. A field that has been dominated by men.
“Women are disproportionately not a part of manufacturing,” Beach-Shelow said. “We want to encourage them to understand that it is a field where they can be successful.”
Many of the founding members showed up to the event at Prairie Street Brewing Co., at 200 Prairie Street, and will continue to put so much effort into the organization, they said.
“I’ve stuck with it because it stayed true to its bylaws, its mission, and why we started it. It’s been over and over again successful at encouraging young people to go into manufacturing,” Beach-Shelow said.
The WOTM president, Jaclyn Kolodziej, set up the whole event, in hopes of continuing the mission set by the founders before her. The event shined a light on a topic she said cares so much about.
“It’s really important that community organizations host events so that we could bring awareness, we could build partnerships and build relationships. With other manufacturers, other organizations in our area, so that we can continue strengthening our mission and our purpose,” said Kolodziej.