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Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Growth Potential

Tri-State Women’s Network strives to encourage women in manufacturing

An internal vision to inspire the female workforce at Gibbs, a die-casting manufacturer in Henderson, Kentucky, in 2022 has since taken flight beyond that facility’s walls.

The Tri-State Women’s Network promotes mentorship, executive coaching, leadership skills, business practices, personal contacts, and career opportunities for women, who the U.S. Department of Commerce in 2022 said make up about 30 percent of manufacturing’s workforce.

“This group will make sure women know they have a voice, a place, and a career in manufacturing,” says Samantha Hering, co-chair of Tri-State Women’s Network and the only female engineer at Gibbs. “I hope we give the women the tools and encouragement to take the next step in their personal and professional lives. Also, although we are still the minority in this industry, there are many women in the region that we can connect and network with.”

Sponsored by Gibbs, the network had its initial event in August featuring keynote speaker Linda White, chief administrative officer of Deaconess Henderson Hospital. About 200 people attended from area companies like Audubon Metals, Brake Supply, Koch Air, Riverview Coal, International Paper, Sitex, Century Aluminum, Accuride, and Vibracoustic.

The network plans three events annually, each with a focus on skill development. The next, on Feb. 28 at Henderson Community College’s Preston Arts Center, will center on assertiveness and communication. Kathleen Lapekas of HR Consulting will keynote.

Another of the group’s goals is community engagement, and six nonprofit organizations will attend the event and showcase their services.

Interested in joining? Contact tristatewomensnetwork@gmail.com for more information.

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