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19-year-old woman will be a machine operator on Davidson County manufacturer plant by 21

Rosi Razura Najar is one of only three women apprentices at Egger Wood Products changing the game in manufacturing.

LINWOOD, N.C. — When others chose four-year colleges, one young lady chose a different route. In two years, she'll be celebrating her 21st birthday at a full-time job with benefits while most of her high school peers will still be working on their degrees.

Rosi Razura Najar is one of three women in the Davidson and Davie Apprenticeship Consortium program at EGGER Wood Products.

"She was very nice and sweet and seemed to be very tender-hearted or timid and I was very worried about this in an industrial world," Jay Jenkins said. 

"(When) everyone thinks industrial, (they think:) men, heavy lifting and heavy work, but I have proven to myself I can do what everybody else does here," Rosi said.

A year ago, she was a student at Lexington Senior High School. Today, she's learning how to build nearly everything at EGGER Wood Products thanks to inspiring words from her mentor, Ms. Hayes.

"'I know this might be scary and I know this might make you nervous, but you know what?'" Rosi said as she reflected on conversations with Ms. Hayes. "'You are the most confident person I know and you can get through anything. So, I applied and, a few weeks later, I got a phone call and I was like 'No way,' 'No way I just made it to EGGER.'"

Rosi is the first machine operator apprentice. 

"We will use her to help build this program," Jenkins said. "We will see what works and what doesn't. She's going to be the pioneer for this position." 

Rosi said some tasks are scary at first.

"Especially that lathe," Rosi said.

Jenkins wants to help Rosi get across the street working on the plant. 

"I told my wife, I want to teach them everything I know before I die," Jenkins said.

Six months on the job, Jenkins now calls her 'Sparkling Rosi.'

When Rosi was asked if she sees herself as a phenomenal woman in this program, she answered, "I do. There's some days, when I am doubtful of her, but I do."

This is Rosi's first year in the two-year program. While working in this program, she is considered a full-time employee. This consortium includes full benefits and a Certificate in Industrial System Technology awarded through the Davidson Davie Community College upon completion.