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More women under the hood at Metro Transit

Metro Transit is welcoming women to the join the ranks of mechanics working for the public transit company.

 

Some women who already work for Metro Transit have seized the opportunity to advance their careers by training for a new role.

 

“I was a mechanic helper for 17 years,” explained DeVona Love. “I never thought of myself as a mechanic. This opportunity opened up and I thought, ‘Why not? You won’t know unless you try.’”

 

Love is enrolled in Metro Transit’s Mechanic Training Program, a 3-year apprenticeship. Her time is divided between being in the classroom and being on the floor – or under the hood.

 

“An old dog can learn new tricks,” laughed Love. “I’ve learned a lot from these guys; they’ve been very helpful. I really enjoy the hands-on part. You get a little dirty and I don’t mind that. Working with the guys helps me understand what they’ve been talking about all these years.”

 

Now a year and a half into the program, Love trains side-by-side with mechanics for 8 hours a day. Mechanics diagnose, repair and provide preventive maintenance for Metro Transit buses, trains, cars, trucks and other equipment. Love has worked on buses, police cars, police cars, rail trucks, Bobcats, and Cushmans.

 

Metro Transit spokesman John Komarek said the public transit company is looking for candidates with mechanical aptitude and interest, adding that potential recruits with little or no experience can learn on the job and work toward full-time work as a mechanic.

 

“People with patience, who enjoy more solitary work and troubleshooting are perfect,” Komarek said. “Folks who never considered the career path are encouraged to look to the

apprenticeship program as a way to begin a new career.”

 

The mechanic position offers competitive benefits, including health, dental, vision and life insurance, sick leave, paid holidays, vacation time and dependent care spending accounts.

There’s also a $4,000 hiring bonus, with another $2,000 after 30 days on the job and $2,000 after a 6-month probationary period.

 

Starting pay for mechanics is $37/hour, with tangible benefits beyond the wage.

 

“Your first year, they give you $1,500 for tools, which helps a lot,” Love said. “The stipend is $650 per year after that.”

 

Love would encourage anyone looking for a change to join her.

 

“Don’t be scared. Everybody is very helpful. It’s an excellent job. Come on in and give it a try,” she said.

 

“I’m surprised because I never thought of myself as a mechanic. I thought ‘Well you won’t know unless you try.’ I’m learning a lot. It’s a welcome challenge.”

 

For more information about Metro Transit’s job opportunities, visit MetroTransit.org/careers.

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