It’s not often that someone has worked in shipping, assemblies, and project management by the time they’re 21 years old. Yet this guest has done all of it AND managed a team at the ripe age of 19 to boot. Grace is an extremely driven problem-solver, always looking for the next project to inject solutions and energy into at her family’s machine shop, Green Country Aircraft. It is conversations like these that I know will shift the gender imbalance in manufacturing because women like Grace are creating a new paradigm for what it means to be a woman, and a young woman, in manufacturing.

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Why Grace is a woman in American manufacturing worth knowing

Grace is determined. It seems like there is nothing in a shop that she can’t do. Someday, she will be running an entire operation. Every day, she is asking herself and her team “what can we do better?”

She is not afraid to speak up when she sees something that needs improving, nor to be the one who takes on the task of doing so, even when it involves a skill set she doesn’t yet have. Personally, I am inspired by Grace’s unstoppability and I think listeners will be, too.

Additionally, Grace recently led the business’s exploration, adoption, and implementation of Paperless Parts. It’s both a shameless plug for us to mention this, as well as recognition of Grace’s keen eye for impactful solutions to problems machine shops often face. She saw the opportunity for Paperless Parts to help GCA scale its revenue, and is making it happen.

A surprising thing that came out of the conversation

For someone who is so organized and methodical in her approach to process improvement and management, she is a self-proclaimed “tabber”– she frequently has so many tabs open on her computer, that it tells her she needs to close them.

Key Takeaway: You can do hard things

Don’t know how to do that? Google it. Not sure how to improve this thing? Watch a YouTube video. I love how Grace has truly taken this to heart and never allowed time or resources to hinder her from improving herself or the business. It’s a simple thing but often taken for granted, that the internet holds as much information as you could ever need to solve a problem. What’s stopping you from tackling it?

Favorite Answer From Rapid Fire Questions:

Who is a famous person she would like to work with in manufacturing? Kevin James, of Paul Blart Mall Cop and King of Queens fame. I didn’t know that anyone below the age of 35 knew who he was, and I’m delighted to find out that someone does.

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