Success Story: Jennifer Green
Industrial Mechanic Millwright
Started March 2004
Jennifer is a licensed Industrial Mechanic Millwright who is passionate about getting more women into the trades.
Jennifer was on the road to university when the opportunity for co-operative education came up. Even though her father was a Tool and Die Maker, Jennifer never thought of the skilled trades as her career path.
After looking at her local college course calendar and reading about all of the different skilled trades, Jennifer was immediately drawn to Industrial Mechanic Millwright. I may have achieved well in my academic courses, but this opportunity gave me the ability to truly understand how much of a hands-on visual learner I am, she says.
She signed up for the co-op and ended up loving it so much that she applied for the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program the next year. She apprenticed at Linamar, a large manufacturing company, and did her in-school classes at Conestoga College. She passed her Certificate of Qualification exam in 2008.
Jennifer says one of the best things about working in the trades is the variety. Your daily work can always change, from what type of equipment you’re working on, to a breakdown and rebuild … I love how versatile and transferable my skills are to various aspects of my life, having multiple skill sets that I can use in other roles and at home.
Jennifer says that the best thing about working as a millwright is that she’s a small person, working on big industrial machines! I understood the individual components and inner workings, and how it was all connected. Rebuilding something like a gearbox was like performing surgery for a machine.
She also admits, though, that being small has its challenges for this trade, but she found workarounds. There are many different types of tools and equipment that can assist in completing the job … There were also custom tools I made for myself to help make the job easier, enough that others would ask to borrow them.
She started her advocacy for young women in the skilled trades in high school and has never stopped talking up the trades. After competing in some Skills Ontario/Canada competitions as the one of the first woman millwrights, it was only natural that Jennifer was chosen to become Skills Ontario’s Director of Competitions and Young Women’s Initiative, where she currently works.
For young people, especially young women who are interested in the trades, Jennifer suggests talking with your high school technology teachers and guidance counsellors, connecting with local colleges, and reaching out to organizations such as Skills Ontario. Research, learn and soak up as much information as you can, she says. The more knowledge you gain, the more you will help yourself in making the best decision for your career path.
Industrial Mechanic Millwright
There is no shortage of industrial equipment that needs to be installed or repaired. As an Industrial Mechanic Millwright, you will work on mechanical, pneumatic, hydraulic, fuel, cooling, and exhaust systems. This includes installing, maintaining, and servicing robotics, pumps, presses, compressors, turbines, fans, generators, and compressed air, water, and exhaust ducting.
On the job, you will use machine tools, welders, power threaders, precision tools, lasers, dial indicators, and micrometers. You will also use testing equipment like vibration analysis for predictive and preventive maintenance.
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