Hello, I am Sara Jenkins. I am 23 years old, and work as a service technician for AutoGuide, a mobile robot company. Most people can’t believe that #iWorkInTheSupplyChain because of my age and gender, but this industry has opened up a world of possibilities for me.
I was in high school in the small town of Cynthiana, Kentucky, where I still live now, when I first heard about working in the manufacturing/supply chain industry. I participated in the Project Lead the Way program, which encourages hands-on learning, when I heard about Bluegrass College’s Advanced Manufacturing Technician (AMT) Program.
I didn’t know the first thing about tools or manufacturing in general, but my teacher encouraged me to attend. The program allows you to work during the day to pay for college at night. My friends were shocked that I would pursue a career in a male-dominated field. Later, they were envious because I graduated debt-free with an associate’s degree in industrial maintenance in 2014 and already had a good paying job, first at Toyota, and then at AutoGuide in Georgetown, Kentucky.
Just a few years later, I was promoted to service technician. I get to travel across North America installing and servicing our Automatic Guided Vehicles. Puerto Rico has been my favorite so far. I already own my home and am continuing to take classes through AMT. I hope to earn my bachelor’s degree in business at the end of this year. I truly feel like the sky is the limit for me in this industry.
Now, I am focusing on encouraging other young women to follow in my footsteps. Most women are not exposed to this industry or to mechanics in general. I was one of the only women in my AMT classes, which is why I volunteer as a spokesperson for the program to raise awareness for young women who aren’t aware of the many benefits this industry and profession provides. I recently did an interview with the Wall Street Journal about the huge shortage of skilled technicians due to baby boomers retiring. I want to spread the word about how important technician jobs are in the manufacturing industry and the opportunities to grow and learn that come as a result. Today, I am proud to say that I can not only fix things at my own house, but also for million-dollar companies that rely on fully functioning equipment to keep their businesses running.