GaMEP launches January profile in Faces of Manufacturing campaign

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Rhonda Beasley isn’t one to back down from a challenge or hard work. It’s a philosophy that’s taken her from welder on the third shift to human resources manager at Roper Corp. in LaFayette, Ga.

“There were times I thought, ‘I can’t do this,’” Beasley said, recounting her journey in manufacturing. But just as quickly she thought, “‘yes, I can.’”

The Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership (GaMEP) is proud to announce Beasley as the first Face of Manufacturing, a program designed to honor the hard-working, dedicated people throughout the state who work within or are affected by the industry.

Each month, GaMEP, a unit of Georgia Institute of Technology’s Enterprise Innovation Institute, will profile a Georgian who is involved in manufacturing for the Faces of Manufacturing campaign. The idea is designed to highlight the critical role the industry plays in the state’s economic vitality. The nearly 10,000 manufacturers in the state employ 486,000 people with a total manufacturing output of $53 billion a year.

But the Faces of Manufacturingis about more than just numbers. It’s to share the compelling stories of those who work in manufacturing, such as Beasley, who went back to school to get her bachelor’s and master’s degrees while working full-time and raising her two young sons as a single mother.

“We know manufacturing contributes a lot to Georgia’s economy,” said GaMEP Director Karen J. Fite. “But on a deeper level, it makes a difference in the Georgia communities our manufacturers call home; and more than that, it changes the lives of so many Georgians and their families. Rhonda Beasley and her family are a great example.”

A strong proponent of manufacturing careers, Beasley touts how it has changed her life. She also tells how the industry itself has changed and offers countless options in engineering and other specialties as career choices, especially for women.

“It’s important that kids know there are great careers in manufacturing,” Beasley said.

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