MHS students attend Women in Manufacturing Day

Amelia Knopp, Senior Staff Writer

The Caterpillar facility in Wamego hosted about 50 high school and technical school students for Women in Manufacturing Day on March 21. 

Manhattan High CTE Coordinator Chris Holborn accompanied16 students to the event, where they toured the facility, participated in manufacturing-related activities and talked to women in the field. 

“Women in all positions in the company led the event and spoke of their roles and how they achieved their current titles,” junior Macey Pecenka said.  

The primary focus of the event was the role and rise of women in manufacturing, specifically at Caterpillar in Wamego. 

“I learned that Caterpillar does a lot to make women feel more included in the workplace and give them access to what they need to thrive as an employee,” senior Soledad Rodriguez said. 

According to senior Cass Streeter, the students were introduced to aspects of manufacturing beyond the typical skill of welding. 

“They even have occupational nurses that work [at Caterpillar],” Streeter said. “One of them is learning how to weld, so you can truly do anything there.”

Students also learned about the business side of manufacturing, as well as IT and supply chain positions, which have evolved due to the pandemic. 

“There’s so much more that goes into [manufacturing] behind the scenes…where women have jobs and are doing more than people understand for their company,” Rodriguez said. 

Streeter’s career aspirations involve welding, and the event confirmed that decision. 

“I had been looking to apply [at Caterpillar] actually,” Streeter said. “After meeting everyone there, I absolutely want to work there.” 

Streeter, Rodriguez and Pecenka all agree that students should take advantage of similar events in the future, regardless of their chosen career path. 

“It makes you understand how you’re appreciated in the field [as a woman] and that it can be the field for you,” Rodriguez said.