Chancy Davis is the only woman welder at the New Flyer Industries bus factory in St. Cloud, Minnesota.
For me personally, I can’t sit behind a desk — I’ve got to be moving and doing something. I found that this, along with my good attention to detail, made welding a right fit for me.
I learned how to weld in an autobody course I took during college but really had no idea where I was going to end up after that. Given my studies, I ended up working in the automotive industry where I got my first job welding. A few years later though, I saw an opportunity to move into the transit side of things and got a job at the New Flyer plant in Minnesota.
At New Flyer, I’m loading parts constantly; other people build the pieces and I put them together. This involved reading prints, welding, and grinding.
Some women can be intimidated easily and feel that they can’t or shouldn’t do this work. For me, I’m kind of one of the guys though. I’ve always been that way.
Boys will be boys and pick on you. They will give you a little crap. Once they are comfortable with you, they’ll start picking on you. But that’s how you know you’re part of the team.
There are also other people out there who are old fashioned and set in their ways and think this isn’t a women’s field. I want to show them that people can do whatever they set their mind to, by being a living example of this.