A community coalition employs an alternative approach at an Alabama bus plant.
Co-published by Newsweek
As we celebrate Women’s History Month in March, we honor many iconic women workers from past to present, from Rosie the Riveter to Dolores Huerta. But we often forget about the unsung “sheroes,” the women whose toil and dedication help move America, today.
One such group is the women workers who manufacture America’s buses, trains and streetcars for our public transit systems. Khanthaly Ditthiait is a 26-year-old mom of two who works at a bus factory owned by New Flyer Industries in St. Cloud, Minnesota. When Khanthaly was just 18 years old, she got a job as a painter’s assistant at the factory.
“It was 10 years before they hired any women to paint the buses — I was the first girl that they hired,” she says. “It was like, ‘Oh, you can’t do it, you’re short. And you have boobs.’ But I was determined. I was like,