John Braconnier, President of Trans tech Transmission

Not at all, the field is wide open to any hands-on men and women.

We’ve got some perception problems in the transmission industry. Our professional mechanics don’t have the status of other skilled trade jobs. The situation reminds me of the story about the young person who just graduated and was discussing the future with his father. When he told his dad that he really wanted to be a mechanic, his father was highly critical.

In the past, mechanics were never paid well for their work. Also, having to buy your own tools has not helped either. The average technician has to buy $5,000 to $10,000 worth of tools throughout his career. I want to tell you the attractive part about this field; today’s technician is a different story; it takes more studying, more theory.

This translates into respectable salary level for technicians in the 90’s – they will command equivalent wages to other skilled trades like plumbers and electricians. Our industry estimates an increasing annual international loss of mechanics over the past number of years. We need replacements from the male and female labour force. I would like to take this opportunity to encourage women to consider the challenge of this emerging profession.