On Wednesday, PNW Ag Network attended the Women in Manufacturing event, "A Day in the Hop Industry" at John I. Haas. While there, we spoke with two members of the WiM board about this event.

Kaitlin Bealer is the customer service manager at Kwik Lok, and has been on the Women in Manufacturing board for over a year and a half. She says WiM's goal this year is to "grow women in the valley and support our local businesses by hosting women in manufacturing events."

Makayla Asbury also works at Kwik Lok in customer service, and has been a member of the WiM board for over a year. She says, "we're just excited to be growing in the Yakima Valley and getting the word out for more Women in Manufacturing events and growing the community."

PNW Ag: Did you sponsor today? Was it you that brought in this event?

Kaitlin Bealer: We are co-hosting with Haas. We did come to them and asked if they would like to participate and host a tour. And they were super excited and they just ran off with the idea and they've actually done so much to put this event together and we expect to have an amazing day today.

PNW Ag: Did you set up any of the speakers or did you just kind of start it off and then they ran with it?

Kaitlin Bealer: They ran with it. We have a lot of different options when hosting events. Sometimes we do panelist interviews based on a specific manufacturing topic. Sometimes people from the company we're touring just want to have their specialists speak on certain topics. So we are definitely very flexible. We just see it as an opportunity for everybody who attends to learn.

PNW Ag: And you hope to have many more in the valley - is there anything coming up?

Makayla Asbury: Yes. We hope to have many more in the future. We have some talk of having them at different fruit warehouses, some packaging manufacturing places in Yakima. So be looking out for those. We post them on LinkedIn. Normally we'll do save the dates on there so you can see those and then we'll post the registration. And you can be a non-WiM member, you can be a WiM member and sign up as well to attend the events.


PNW Ag: Do you have to be a woman in manufacturing or just somebody that's very interested in that specific company?

Kaitlin Bealer: You do not have to be a woman in manufacturing to attend these events. Obviously it will be probably more appealing if you are, but we do not gatekeep. Everybody is welcome to attend. If anybody's interested in hosting events or would like to host a tour, they can contact Makayla and I on LinkedIn and we would be happy to set a meeting up.

Women in Manufacturing: LinkedIn (Washington) | LinkedIn (Oregon) | National Website

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