Wednesday, March 1, 2023 3:11:00 PM
Currently, Metro Transit has 6 women working as mechanics. Here’s four women who are working to become a mechanic through a new state-registered apprenticeship program. The three-year program kicked off about three months ago.
- Anna Blake has been with Metro Transit for 15 years as a bus operator and helper. Before that, she was a cosmetologist. Today, she sees her future in Bus Maintenance as a technician. Her husband is also a technician at Metro Transit, and she’s ready for a little friendly competition. “I want to be better than he is!” Blake said. “It’s challenging, but I’m doing better than I thought I would right now.” Her father and grandfather were also mechanics and she’s bringing a few tools of theirs with her to her new career. She hopes to one day work in the fabrication shop at Overhaul Base, and to eventually become a manager.
- Cynthia Borda was a nurse and a Metro Transit operator until she was inspired by her daughter who works as a technician at Nicollet Garage. “I always thought about it when I was younger, but never did it,” Borda said. “In my 20s, I always thought the idea of fixing stuff was cool but it wasn’t what girls were supposed to do.” She enjoys the challenge of this program and especially being able to work with her hands. Borda hopes other women will try it, even if it seems unfamiliar.
- Lori Goldman is no stranger to working a wrench under a vehicle’s hood. She and her fiancée have been doing it for years inside their shop at home. To her, getting hands on and dirty is part of the job – but learning new systems is the most challenging part. As a seven-year bus operator, she’s no stranger to being behind the wheel as well, but with a new vehicle comes new technical challenges. “I’ve never done electrical, AC systems, or air brakes,” Goldman said. She applied for this program because it opened a lot of doors with no out-of-pocket expenses. Becoming a mechanic, she believes, will be the last stop in her career. She hopes other women will try it out to see if they have a knack for it.
- DeVona Love began as a bus operator but most of her 22 years at Metro Transit have been as a helper at the Overhaul Base. While operating a bus and going to school for nursing, she saw an opening for a helper position and applied. “I didn’t know these jobs were back here,” Love said. Now, she sees becoming a mechanic a natural next step in her career. “When this program opened, I jumped on it,” she said.