Maria Nunes-Rothstein is an assembly technician at the New Flyer Industries bus factory in St. Cloud, MN.
Maria moved to St. Cloud with her husband from California and worked a couple of jobs before working at the New Flyer factory – first in an office, where they had a number of layoffs, and then a refrigerator factory.
She first heard about the job at New Flyer Industries from her husband, who currently worked there. At first, she laughed when he mentioned the idea. She didn’t think she could do the job. After she was finally convinced by her husband to go for it, Maria started at New Flyer doing technical assembly. Every day, she helps prepare all of the brackets and hardware that the workers at the factory need to install in the buses. This is an important job as every bus is different and requires different parts.
In the first couple months of her job, Maria thought about quitting, but luckily with the encouragement of her husband, she kept at it. When she started at the factory, the men there had a tendency to make inappropriate comments. After setting them straight and teaching them appropriate manners, the men grew to be very helpful in teaching her how to become better and better at her job. They also taught her how to do the job in a way that is safe for her, especially when she has to lift heavy objects (some at more than 50 pounds!).
While it was hard at first, Maria is glad she continued to work at New Flyer. She learns something new every day and realizes how important her job is to building the buses there. She knows her work is valued and appreciated. She is constantly growing and improving in her job, because she wants to. She enjoys going to work today, and enjoys the paycheck even more (especially compared to her past jobs).
Maria wants women to know that they can do anything they want to. Her piece of advice is that “If you think you can’t, you won’t do it. If you think you can do it, you will.”
Now having been working at New Flyer for over a year, Maria doesn’t have any plans to leave. “It pays my bills, it supports my family, I love working here,” she says.