Local Centenarian Celebrates Rosie the Riveter Day in Lansing

A handful of real-life-Rosie the Riveters gathered with hundreds of women to celebrate women in manufacuring at the state Capitol on Tuesday, including Vera Gobeski of Bay City.

The centenarian was one of many women who jumped into the workforce during World War II when men went off to fight. Gobeski’s husband Frank joined the U.S. Army and she stayed behind to work as a core maker for magnesium castings at Dow Chemical on the third shift. At the time she made just 80 cents per hour. Tuesday marked the annual Rosie the Riveter Day at the capitol, organized by the American Rosie the Riveter Association Willow Run Chapter and the Capital Area Manufacturing Council.

Gobeski was greeted by Senator Kristen McDonald Rivet, who says at the time women like Gobeski helped keep America open for business. “Today’s celebration is a great reminder to value every generation’s working-class members,” McDonald Rivet says, adding,  “From the Rosies of WWII to the pandemic’s frontline workers, so many women and men never get the recognition they deserve until everyone realizes how much we all rely on what they do or make.”

The event also included educational presentations and displays honoring Michigan women working in the manufacturing industry.