Mechatronics program Jessica Roberts

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Safety glasses, check…hard hat, check…ear plugs, check.

It is the first day of my internship, and I make my way down the green painted walkway that runs through the ArcelorMittal Steel plant in Weirton and reflections run through my mind on how I arrived there.

After spending time as a daycare teacher in Florida, I realized I wanted something different and moved back to Ohio. With a fresh attitude that my whole life was ahead of me, I heard of a new program at WVNCC that combined mechanical and electrical maintenance called Mechatronics, and I visited the Weirton campus just across the river to find out more. I enrolled and quickly fell in love with everything about it my first semester.

It was after my first year that three classmates and I were given the opportunity to intern with ArcelorMittal Steel and participate in the “Steel Worker for the Future” program. As the only female in the Mechatronics program and only female to participate in the program at ArcelorMittal, I felt I had a lot to prove. For the next 12 weeks I took that journey down the green painted walkway to work in my assigned area with the “Bull Gang” mechanics who welcomed me warmly from day one.

With my family, friends, classmates, and fellow steel workers behind me, I can expect to accomplish all my goals.

This is an abridged version of an article that appeared in the 2013 edition of West Virginia Senior High magazine, and is reprinted with permission.

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