Rosie the Riveter: Yesterday and Today

Rosie the Riveter

Rosie the Riveter is the most iconic image of working women from World War II. When the men of America’s workforce went overseas to fight, the government needed a campaign to recruit women for the positions that were vacated in factories and across a wide range of industries. That simple recruiting campaign created an icon that is universally viewed as a representation of strong women in the welding industry.

While Rosie the Riveter was largely a fictitious character, there was a real woman behind the image. In 1943, a photo of Naomi Parker-Fraley caught the eye of artist J. Howard Miller. For three decades, the inspiration of the original Rosie illustration was believed to have been Geraldine Hoff-Doyle; it wasn’t until 2015 that it was discovered to be Parker-Fraley who inspired the character.

“Rosie’s” mission paid off: from 1940-1945, the overall percentage of women in the workforce rose from 27 to 37 percent while nearly one out of every four married women had a job outside the home by 1945. Women took to assembly lines, they learned how to weld and worked in the aviation industry. They kept these industries alive and highly productive.

The Legacy of Rosie the Riveter Lives On

Today, men and women alike know the importance of hands-on training programs such as Welding. These skills cannot be taken away and are valuable assets in the workforce. There is a demand for welders in various fields such as manufacturing, commercial construction, mining, agriculture, wholesale trade and repair and maintenance. From the tallest skyscrapers to the machines and appliances that help make our lives a little easier, welders play a critical role in keeping our economy moving. Lincoln Tech’s Welding program offers students the tools needed to become proficient in welding for a successful career.  Graduates are writing their own success stories every day around the country – you could be next!


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