“Come closer so you can see,” said Samantha Farr to 20 women as they adjusted their welding helmets at the sold-out Women Who Weld workshop held at College of the Canyons on Friday, Feb. 22.
Founded by Farr, Women Who Weld is a Detroit-based nonprofit organization that teaches women how to weld and find employment in the welding industry.
During the four-hour workshop, Farr introduced her participants to basic Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW).
Although the welding industry continues to grow, women remain vastly underrepresented across the field’s ranks. In 2012, just 4.8 percent of the welding, soldering, and brazing workers in the United States were women, according to data reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Lincoln Electric supplied all personal protection equipment and Airgas USA supplied various hand tools to the college, which participants used during the workshop and were allowed to keep.
Proceeds from the workshop will go toward funding Women Who Weld’s subsidized, six-week Intensive Welding Training Program for unemployed and underemployed women in Detroit, MI.
“We need more pioneers like Samantha to get the word out to women about the fantastic career opportunities that now exist,” said Tim Baber, department chair of welding technology at the college. “She has an uncanny way to connect with her participants.”
All consumables and materials were supplied through Carl D. Perkins grant funds.
“The workshop was our largest attended yet and a great success,” said Farr.
Click here for more information about the college’s welding department.
For more information about Women Who Weld, please visit the organization’s website.