Dothan, Ala. – Wallace Community College Workforce Development, The Wiregrass Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) Council, and Lincoln Electric have collaborated to create a workshop for females ages 16 and up who are interested in welding. Wiregrass RC&D funded the grant to increase the awareness and participation of non-traditional students in career and technical education (CTE) programs in Houston and Barbour Counties.
“Our hope is that the workshops will empower women to see the earning potential they have in our community’s welding industry,” said Joe Johnson, director of Workforce Development at Wallace Community College.
The workshops will be held at Wallace Community College in Dothan January 23 and 30, 2021 and at WCCD Sparks Campus in Eufaula February 6 and 13, 2021.
“We are super excited to partner with Wiregrass RC&D to offer the welding workshops in Houston and Barbour Counties,” Johnson said. “It’s a great opportunity for those that may have been affected by COVID-19 at no cost to them to really get an idea if our welding program or technical fields will be of interest to them. It’s just a great opportunity.”
Though the grant is focused on non-traditional students, it is also a chance for high school students who are interested in welding through dual enrollment to get a firsthand look at what Wallace has to offer.
“The Women in Welding grant is just another way for Wallace Community College to open the ‘doors of opportunity’ for our dually enrolled students,” said Jennifer Matheny, WCCD dual enrollment coordinator. “Welding has traditionally been viewed as a male-dominated occupation but this grant initiative will empower young women to see the earning potential for women in the industry. Now, more than ever, our dual enrollment program is primed and ready to be used as a catalyst to fill business and industry needs by allowing young women to start these programs as early as the tenth grade.”
Katelynn Dean is enrolled in the dual enrollment welding course offered at GTech in Geneva and said that being a girl in welding is empowering.
“I absolutely love welding and love talking to people about it. Initially, people would try to put me down about being a girl in welding but I have earned their respect over time,” Dean said. “I feel like women in welding are empowered in this profession by being able to prove to others that a woman is capable of training for this career.”
Each workshop will have a limit of 25 participants. For more information or how to register, contact Kecia Forehand at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (334) 556-2219.