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Women’s History Month Series

Spotlight on: Melissa Ramos

To those concerned about the growing skills gap in the manufacturing industry, look to Melissa Ramos for encouragement. Her many titles include shop founder and full owner, first-generation machinist, woman of color, programmer and machinist, and content creator. She is not yet 30.

After 11 years of intermittent work as a floater at U.S. Fabrication, she dedicated two years to learn machining before starting her own company, M95. In addition to running her business, she also creates informational and inspiring content for her 2,000 subscribers on YouTube and her 21,000 followers on Instagram.

A quick scroll through her content will reveal dozens of comments from other young women breaking into the manufacturing industry, all expressing joy at seeing someone who looks like them succeeding in a male-dominated field. Mastercam is proud to share her thoughts on entrepreneurship and community.

Melissa Ramos

What do you do at M95 Machining?

MR: I started M95 Machining as a couple vertical mills operating out of my dad’s fabrication shop in 2021. My role here as founder and owner is everything from machining to programming to shipping and receiving. I also do all the accounting, marketing, and content creation. If it’s needed to run a small business, it’s my job. 

What made you decide to join the manufacturing industry?

MR: My dad introduced me to machining but isn’t a machinist. To be honest, he hates machining. But he brought two Haas mills into his fab shop to see if I’d like machining enough to continue doing it. This wasn’t something I ever imagined myself doing long term, let alone as a career. After the consistent disappointment and let down concerning how males in the industry were not taking me seriously, I decided to try my own thing. 

I was always amazed at seeing the final product, and was inspired by my dad’s ability to create something. I guess growing up I kind of wanted to be like him, but better.

What are some of the most memorable challenges you’ve faced along the way?

MR: The biggest challenge is just being a woman in manufacturing. I’ve learned that, even if you keep your head down and just stay in your lane, there’s always someone who has a problem with a woman in the shop. At this point I’m almost just used to it. As a content creator, I think the cyber bullying really starts to take a toll on my mental health. I’m lucky enough to have my dad who is very stern and honest with me to remind me that they would never actually say something to my face.

What are your favorite parts about working in manufacturing?

MR: My favorite part about the industry is the big/small community there is. It seems like everyone knows each other and is willing to help one another out. These friendships and partnerships seem to last forever. There’s always something new to learn and a new friend to make. It’s also nice to work in an industry that is always growing. There’s always something to learn, the possibilities are endless, and the demand is always high.