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The Sun-Times - Heber Springs, AR
Learning to live as a mother and a businesswoman
Train – Initiate and Educate for Good Works
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About this blog
By Latanyua Taylor Robinson
Latanyua Taylor Robinson describes herself as a minister for manufacturing. In 2010, she started Latrobe LLC, a manufacturing and engineering services company. Latrobe’s mission: to create jobs in industrial manufacturing, specifically in low to ...
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Purposed Work
Latanyua Taylor Robinson describes herself as a minister for manufacturing. In 2010, she started Latrobe LLC, a manufacturing and engineering services company. Latrobe’s mission: to create jobs in industrial manufacturing, specifically in low to moderate income communities. Latanyua’s educational credentials include a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from the University of Arkansas and a Master of Business Administration from Indiana Wesleyan University. She developed a passion for manufacturing while in college. Throughout her career, Latanyua has held a variety of increasing responsibilities in operations, engineering, quality and marketing management. These assignments created opportunities to travel domestically and around the world, including various countries throughout Europe, China, India, Israel and Mexico. At such companies as Cargill, Sony and Kennametal, Latanyua met the challenges that come with being the “first” and the “only” as an opportunity to demonstrate that with proper training, women can succeed in jobs and industries traditionally reserved for men. Latrobe began as a contract manufacturing company. Today the portfolio has expanded to include process engineering, strategic marketing and construction tools and services. In May 2011, Latanyua was selected and honored as a Finalist at the Greater Washington D.C.’s Annual Women in Technology Leadership Awards in the category of Entrepreneur. In September 2011, she opened a second office in Port Arthur, Texas, to support job creation in manufacturing in southeast Texas and along the Sabine River into Louisiana. Additionally in October 2011 and 2012, Latanyua was a featured panel speaker at the Women in Manufacturing Symposiums held in Cleveland, Ohio and Milwaukee, Wisc. In April 2013, Latanyua will become an inducted member of the Arkansas Academy of Industrial Engineers. Her next goal is to launch a non-profit organization focused toward getting more girls and women involved in manufacturing and technology. Girls Engaged in Manufacturing Studies (GEMS) mission and goals are to increase the numbers of females entering high tech, engineering and STEM related professions that are critical to our nation’s future growth and competitive edge in the global marketplace. Latanyua is married to James Robinson and they have a son named Quincy. The family currently resides in the Beaumont, Texas metro area. In her spare time, Latanyua shares her thoughts on economic diversity and the importance of manufacturing in sustaining the middle class economy in a blog titled, Purposed Work.
Recent Posts
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Jan. 22, 2014 5:20 p.m.
Jan. 15, 2014 5:15 p.m.
March 22, 2013 5:30 p.m.

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it <>
Proverbs 22:6<>


Practice what you preach is one of my mantras. We encouraged our son to develop his mechanical skills. We invested in blocks and Legos in our house and since I can remember, Q has talked about becoming an architect. He has always known that his mom is an engineer and that he gets his math skills from me and his mechanical aptitude from his dad. He’s aware of science, technology, and manufacturing vocations. All of the introductions and nurturing came naturally for my male child.<>


Tay, Q, and Tif--around the age we should initiate career talks.
God did not bless us with daughters, but I have two nieces who are both beautiful and smart. I do not live in the same cities or states as them, but we see each other frequently and are relatively close. They know that Aunt Tanyua is an engineer, but I do not know what they know or think about my work. More importantly, I do not ever recall nurturing their math or mechanical skills or ever talking to them about science, or technology, or manufacturing. I call myself an advocate for getting more young women engaged in manufacturing studies, yet I have not planted the seed with my own flesh and blood, until now. It’s time to stop being a hypocrite and to begin to practice what I preach!<>

Writing this blog is a good way for me to understand what teenaged girls think about high tech, engineering and STEM related professions. When I was younger, I wanted to be an accountant (because I was good at math) until my high school math teacher, Ms. Wilson, suggested to me that I was an engineer. In tenth grade, she introduced me to the vocation that would become my life’s passion. So today, I interviewed my nieces and introduced them to the idea of future careers in manufacturing or technology.<>


Name: Taylor<>
Grade: 10th<>

School: Southfield Bradford Academy <>

Favorite Subject and Why: English, because I like writing and I had a teacher, Mr. Kinniebrew, who made it fun.<>

Current College Thoughts and Why: University of Michigan to major in Journalism <>

What do you want to be when you grow up: Journalist (newspapers, magazines, blogs, all kinds)<>

What do you know about manufacturing: It’s the mass production of goods starting from raw material. Everything is manufactured, like cars. (She obviously did some research before the call!)<>

My younger niece, Tiffany, is an eighth grader at Stuttgart Jr. High. She was shy about sharing her thoughts on college and careers. Both confirmed that I have NEVER initiated a conversation with them about engineering or manufacturing or my work, nor encouraged them to develop their mechanical skills.  When you know better, you do better (Maya Angelou).<>


I have some work to do in piquing their interest in potential careers in manufacturing or technology (or at least explaining how degrees in journalism, marketing, etc. can be applied to a career supporting the industry). It’s not too late. In 2011, the National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity hosted a conference focused on expanding options for women and girls in STEM.  Five strategies suggested to support girls’ success in STEM careers (or to increase awareness of the options) are:<>


    • Know your own biases (challenge our girls to develop math and mechanical skills)<>
    • Exposure early and often (start talking to them as young as possible)<>
    • Engage parents <>
    • Pay attention to the little things (a reminder that girls like blocks and Legos too)<>
    • Use role models (introduce your nieces/cousins to women in non-traditional careers)<>
In the meantime, I know that discussions of careers and college will become a part of my purposed conversation with my nieces and other young women that I encounter. If we want these future leaders to seek their full career potential, we have to train and educate them early and consistently.<>

To learn more about efforts to advance careers in STEM, visit www.stemequitypipeline.org<>


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