A woman’s touch
Comments Off August 3, 2010 at 11:34 am by Canadian Metalworking
Georgette Lang may not be the only woman in Canada working as a machinist and CNC programmer, but she may well be the only woman who operates her own machine shop. “I do the machining, the quoting, the drawing and…
Georgette Lang may not be the only woman in Canada working as a machinist and CNC programmer, but she may well be the only woman who operates her own machine shop.
“I do the machining, the quoting, the drawing and the paperwork,” says Lang who operates GL Manufacturing with her husband and partner, Robert.
And business is booming at their 3,000 sq ft custom machine shop which is located on 5 acres of land just north of Winnipeg.
Georgette Lang took up the trade about 15 years ago.
“I had been working for Boeing in the warehouse for five years when I was laid off”, she says. “I had been earning a good salary. I had been unemployed for a short time when I got a letter in the mail about a retraining program in machining for laid-off Bristol (Aerospace) and Boeing employees.”
So she went down to the school where the program was offered to see what it was all about. She liked what she saw.
“I had never done anything with tools before. It was all new to me. They showed us at the school some examples of what machinists could make.”
Lang signed on to the one-year program and came out as a Level One machinist. After graduation, she was hired by Standard Machine Works. She spent three years working for the company and benefited considerably from the experience.
“I was the second woman machinist that the company had ever hired and the first to get her Red Seal Journeyperson papers, she recalls. “There were a lot of skilled people there who were very helpful and willing to mentor me.”
After Standard Machine Works, Georgette went to work in the machine shop at CancerCare Manitoba where she helped build devices for use for patients being treated for cancer.
She also worked with plastics and learned finesse because many of the devices required soft, smooth finishes.
There are no other women with her skill level or overall set of skills, Robert says of Georgette. “You can bring her any drawing and she can figure how to reproduce it.”
After five years at CancerCare Manitoba, Georgette moved to the provincial governments Apprenticeship Branch working with budding machinists, seeing to their schooling and making sure that they were well treated in their workplaces.
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