Page 26 - BusinessWest February 17, 2021
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 That was in 2012. Since that time, Carlson has verified the faith her father had her, establishing herself not only at the company — transitions such as these are rarely seamless — but also in the industry, and especially in the broad realm of helping to educate people (and especially young people) about precision manufacturing as a career path.
Such efforts have been going on for decades, and Carlson notes that, in many respects, she is simply carrying on the work of her father, who was extremely active with workforce initiatives in this sector. Indeed, the two of them share what could only be called a passion for such work.
“I was pretty much in a place at that point in my life where I needed to decide what my path was going to be on my own; I didn’t want som”eone else to define that for
Much of her work involves debunking myths, or at least long-standing beliefs. There are many of them, and they range from those concerning the death of manufacturing in this region (it’s not what it was 30 or 40 years ago, to be sure, but it’s not dead) to the presumption that women can’t or shouldn’t get into this field, to the opinion that one has to go to college to succeed in life.
Carlson, who went to college because she was told she needed to, is working on all these fronts simultaneously. She confronts the problem with
Kristin Carlson, seen here with Peerless Precision machinist Kaitlyn Fricke, says progress has been made to inspire women to enter the manufacturing field, but more work must be done.
 statistics, with stories — like the one about the Boston Marathon bomber — and sometimes just by showing up in a room.
Indeed, as a woman not just in this industry, but one leading a company and sitting on regional and national boards, she has become an effective role model, or ‘exhibit A,’ if you will, when it comes to everything she talks about. As in everything.
“For a kid whose father had bought a machine shop and was pushed to go to
college when I’m better at hands-on things ...
I wish I had been given different options,” she told BusinessWest. “My parents told me that I couldn’t make anything of myself if I didn’t have a college degree; that’s not a good message, but it’s also the message that was being pushed across the board back then — and still, today.”
While the
Continued on page 28
The Permanent Solution To Your Temporary Problem.
   Congratulations to all The Difference Makers 2021
With a shout out to Kristin Carlson
 CIC is a
Woman Owned Business certified by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and WBENC, serving industry since 1992.
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