Valley school seeing more women pursue career in welding

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Officials with the Southern Industrial Careers Center, a welding school in the Valley, say they've seen more women walk through the door than ever before.

Jackline Mendoza says she stumbled on the welding school in an online ad.

“I didn't know welding was something that I’d like to do until I came into this school and I started welding and it became a passion for me,” said Mendoza, who’s working on a structural welding certification.

Mendoza says she wants to be a certified combination welder who welds pipes.

“Usually people see you and they don’t expect you to know how to do something like that,” Mendoza said. “I like to do things that people don’t see me doing.”

And she’s not the only one. Gabriela Oropeza, a certified structural welder, says the field makes her feel empowered.

“If you see the welders nowadays, it's like you see like a six-foot man or like a really big bulky guy and it’s like you get in there and we do the same thing,” Oropeza said.

SICC School Director Eluid Medina says women are exactly what employers in the industry are looking for.

“In this industry, when they’re welding it’s very important that we’re attentive to detail and women have just that,” Medina said.

Mendoza hopes more women will give welding a shot.

“Go for it, to try it at least, because if you never try it, you’ll never know,” Mendoza said.

After a few years in the industry, Oropeza plans to get a teaching degree to inspire others like herself.

If you’re interested in learning more about the school, click here.


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