US Manufacturing Industry Needing More Women Workers

October 7, 2012

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. skilled (adj.)
[skild] – having the right skills or training to do something
ExampleSkilled teachers are good at preparing lessons for their students.

2. detail-oriented (adj.) [dee-teyl] [awr-ee-ent, ohr‐] –pays attention to small things Example: The supervisor was very detail-oriented, checking all the employees’ works very carefully.

3. precision (n.) [pri-sizh-uh n] – the quality of being according to the exact measurements or instructions
Example: Making a watch requires precision, or else the watch will not work properly.

4. vocational school (n.) [voh-key-shuh-nl] [skool] – a school that prepares student for a specific kind of profession or job
Example: I learned how to fix a car in vocational school

5. lucrative (adj.) [loo-kruh-tiv] – earning a lot of money
Example: Being a doctor is hard but lucrative job.

Read the text below.

Manufacturing is often considered to be a job for men. But in the US, there is a growing potential for skilled women professionals to be in the manufacturing industry.

In the past, working in manufacturing meant having to carry heavy loads, which is why most workers were men. Today, manufacturing is mostly computerized. Both men and women can be trained to operate the high-tech machines.

April Senase, an expert on automated machines for Kitagawa NorthTech in Illinois, says that, in fact, women’s detail-oriented attitude matches well with the precision needed in today’s manufacturing.

In high school, Senase’s teacher persuaded her to try manufacturing because it was a lucrative job and Senase was good at math. She has since worked and held high positions in several factories for the past 13 years. Senase now earns up to $40 an hour—overtime pay included—because there are not enough skilled workers like her.

The growing US’ manufacturing industry needs many more skilled workers. This need is being addressed by vocational schools, such as Symbol Job Training.

To encourage more women to consider a career in manufacturing, Symbol hired Senase as a female instructor for night classes. April admits she has experienced some difficulties working and teaching in such a male-dominated profession. Some men do not want to be instructed by a woman, she shared.

Currently, only a third (1/3) of factory workers are women, a number both Senase and Symbol hope will rise in the future.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         Why do you think there are so few women working in the manufacturing industry?
·         How can more women be encouraged to work in an industry or kind of job where there are mostly male workers?

Discussion B

·         What kind of jobs are men usually good at? What kind of jobs are women usually good at?
·         Do you believe there are jobs that only men or only women can do? Please explain your answer.


October 7, 2012