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January 26, 2017

Riverside High School Students Learn About Manufacturing Careers

From: Marcia Latta

Students in the Young Women’s Transitional Program at Riverside High School joined students from six other school districts in Linn and Benton counties to participate in hands-on activities at Linn Benton Community College.
 The annual LBCC Women, Metals and Manufacturing event, sponsored by the Albany Chamber Pipeline to Jobs project, helps girls learn about non-traditional careers.
“We want students to explore new opportunities,” said Principal Joy Koenig. “If we can expose them to a variety of educational programs and career options, we believe they will be more likely to find a successful path when they leave.”
This event highlighted training programs and jobs in welding, mechatronics, non-destructive testing, CADD and machine tool. It also featured a panel of women who shared about their careers in Albany-based manufacturing companies, including Viper NW, ATI and Entek.
The panelists recounted how they started in entry-level positions after earning a high school diploma – or a GED in some cases – and advanced up to leadership positions. Riverside students were especially impressed with Entek Director of Extruder Sales Linda Campbell, who told the group she was the only female in the world in a position like hers. She shared that she worked her way up in the company and took advantage of opportunities to learn. 
“I encourage you to seek to understand manufacturing before you make a decision,” she told the group. “Learn your options and keep an open mind.” 
Campbell offered her card to any interested student who had additional questions. She said she would be happy to give tours to students, and Riverside students said they would love the opportunity. “She said she is making good money, and she is the only woman in the world doing what she is doing,” said Sierra. “We should talk to her more.”
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