DCC Precision Machining Program Wants To Recruit More Women

Danville, VA -- Danville Community College is hoping to get more women into one of their popular programs. But as of now, the first year class of their Precision Machining Technology Program has 44 students, only 2 of which are women. But, they hope that will soon change.Within the last year, DCC has made an extra effort to get women into this program. Their website features their female students, and so does their pamphlet. They say this job shouldn't be determined by gender.In a room full of equipment and technology, the last thing Porchia Russell notices is gender. But it's hard not to notice the statistics. Russell is only one of two female students in her class of more than 40 at Danville Community College's Precision Machining Technology Program. Still, that doesn't stop her from following her dream career."Women can do anything, it's 2014," said Russell. Russell first heard about the program through her father. She says being a woman never even entered into her thought process."The way that my parents brought me, it was never anything a girl couldn't do," said Russell. But Associate Professor Doug Poole says gender seems to be a big factor for others. He suspects the perception of what machining used to be like stops many women from pursuing the career now."It was a dirty, greasy environment. But today most of the equipment that you are going to see out in the real world is going to be computerized," said Poole. Program administrators are now targeting more women to check out the program, so more students like Russell can work toward a successful career in this male-dominated industry."I know its going to be great things that come from this," said Russell.A nearly $2.5 million grant will soon open doors for both men and women in the Precision Machining Program. Danville Regional Foundation made that donation to the program for purchasing equipment.