New Castle News

Local News

January 28, 2013

Breaking Barriers: More women pursuing careers in nontraditional jobs

NEW CASTLE — It’s not uncommon to see Natalie Simon driving through Moraine and McConnell’s Mill state parks in a truck.

As environmental education specialist at both sites, it’s just part of the job.

Simon realizes her duties fall under the title of nontraditional jobs for women.

So does Kinorea Tigri, who drove a big rig with her husband for 13 years — hauling heavy loads across ice-covered roads in Alaska and Canada.

Tigri used that experience to become commercial truck driver instructor at the New Castle School of Trades, where she is now satellite facility director.

While Simon and Tigri represent a growing trend, they still are among a minority. A report from the White House Council on Women and Girls said it’s “especially disconcerting” that women make up only 25 percent of the science, technology, engineering and manufacturing — or STEM — workforce.

The report also indicates that gender stereotyping and the lack of female role models in math, science and technology may be dissuading girls from entering these fields.

The good news, though, is that women who do hold STEM jobs earn 33 percent more than women in other occupations.


Susan Fithian, 28, and Brandy Bedilion, 35, both are doing their part to beat the odds.

Fithian and Bedilion are the only two women in their diesel power generation course at the school of trades.

It was a career change for Fithian, who was a certified surgical technician but always enjoyed working on vehicles.

According to Tigri, that program provides instruction on repairing and troubleshooting electrical power generators, which is “big demand right now.”

On occasion, Fithian said, she has been asked whether she can handle the demands of such a job.

Any obstacles, though, have been stepped over and she will graduate in December with an associate’s degree in diesel technology and power generation with a Class A CDL. Fithian aspires to work in a shop as a technician.

She’s aware that there is still gender separation regarding certain jobs but sees improvement in that area.

“If you have an interest in a non-traditional job, go after it,” Fithian advised.

Bedilion, who will graduate in October, has been working around vehicles since she was six and her grandfather had an inspection garage. An Army veteran, she plans to keep her options open on job choices.

Along the way, though, “I had to teach the guys that, as women, we are capable of performing the same job just as well.”

That was proven when she and Fithian wired an industrial engine from scratch and excelled in that endeavor, earning respect from the school’s sponsors and male classmates, Tigri said.

“Women can do anything,” Bedilion noted. “We’re living proof of it. This is all hard work, but worth it in the end.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Vo-Skills.jpg VoTech team claims silver medal state honors

    The Lawrence County Career and Technical Center boasts a team of disciplined, well-spoken winners. The school’s SkillsUSA team, comprised of 21 students, stood against other schools from throughout Pennsylvania last week in Hershey.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Columbia Gas announces pipeline replacement work

    Columbia Gas has scheduled a pipeline replacement project for New Castle. Beginning this month, the company will replace approximately 2,800 feet of existing steel pipe along Eastbrook and Paper Mill roads and Cascade Street. The project is expected to be completed in July.

    April 17, 2014

  • ESB Financial reports earnings increase

    ESB Financial Corp., parent company of ESB Bank, has announced an increase in earnings for the quarter ended March 31.

    April 17, 2014

  • Author.tiff Arthur the author: Children’s writer/illustrator visits Neshannock Elementary

    A story about a grandmother and her granddaughter flying over a city grew from the vivid imagination of children’s author Arthur Dorros. “Abuela” also spurred the creativity of students at Neshannock Memorial Elementary School who had eagerly awaited a visit from Dorros yesterday.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Greer House changes name

    Greer House, a provider of assisted living services and care to seniors, has unveiled its new name. “We are thrilled about our new name — Clen-Moore Place,” said executive director Susan Leise, “because it better reflects our commitment to provide a vibrant environment where our residents thrive each and every day.

    April 16, 2014

  • Huston.jpg Greg Huston: Pirates pitching is porous and LeBron’s a phony

    The Buccos got swept this past weekend in their own personal house of horrors, otherwise known as Miller Park in Milwaukee. The Pirates will hover around .500 this year mainly because they do have some stars in Marte, McCutchen and Alvarez, and they play the right way with grit.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • 01.jpg Photo Gallery, Story: Students team up on paper pantry

    Food is not the only thing that sometimes is in short supply for those in need. With that in mind, students from seven Lawrence County high schools joined Westminster College sororities and fraternities Saturday in preparing a paper pantry for local residents.

    April 14, 2014 8 Photos

  • school.jpg Neshannock approves resignation, agreement, related legal fees

    The Neshannock school board accepted the resignation of business manager and board secretary Melissa Morosky Thursday. Morosky’s resignation is effective Wednesday.

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Solomon to head Warner advisers

    The Historic Warner Cascade Theatre has named Nanette Kaplan Solomon chairwoman of the board of advisers. Solomon is a New Castle resident and professor of piano at Slippery Rock University.

    April 12, 2014

  • Consultant hired for downtown riverwalk

    The city of New Castle has hired a consultant to plan a pedestrian riverwalk in the downtown. Council awarded a contract for $30,000 to Macking Engineering Co. of Pittsburgh on Thursday.

    April 12, 2014

Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
Section Teases
House Ads
Seasonal Content
AP Video