March 14, 2023
In honor of International Women's Day, eSAFE is spotlighting the incredible successes of remarkable women in the electrical industry for the month of March. We are so inspired by Jessica and many others like her who have seized the opportunity to use their talent and advance our field. Join us on this journey this month as we honor the amazing women making strides in the electrical industry.
Meet Jessica Penner:
Jessica Penner is a Senior Industrial Electrician at ATS Corporation in the Life Sciences division and has been working for the company since 2004. She was lucky enough to get an apprenticeship straight out of High School after going through a co-op program. She started out as a Machine Tool Builder and Integrator or an MTBI for short but then made the switch to a new trade in 2012, explaining,
“I love the stark differences between the two trades, and I believe they have both played a serious role in how my career has played out so far to date. There are quite a lot of transferable skills between the two.”
Jessica loves her career at ATS because of the variety and challenges of building custom systems. Each system ranges in size, complexity, and location all over the world. Penner and her team also travel to the customer’s site to install and complete the commissioning of the machinery.
“Every day can be an episode of ‘How It’s Made’ here at ATS. Also, like any workplace, it helps if you have great team members to collaborate with and I can definitely say that’s what we have. I have been lucky enough in my career to have several mentors to guide me along to the tradeswoman I am today. I am forever thankful to have had them in my corner (some still are),” says Penner.
Jessica admits that there have been challenges, but has always kept focused on the tasks at hand and the career she has built. She is excited to see the shift to more and more women joining the trades and is lucky enough to work alongside four other talented ladies at her facility. Her advice to those joining or looking to join the trades is to get involved in a co-op program, don’t be shy about asking questions, learn from mistakes, and when asking for a journeyperson’s help, try it their way first.
We appreciate you, Jessica! Keep up the great work. You are leading the way for other women to follow in your footsteps and have successful careers in the electrical industry.