Sparking passion: More girls enrolled in Big Spring High welding classes than ever before

Published: Jan. 15, 2020 at 8:14 PM CST
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You might have an idea what a West Texas welder looks like, but one group of Big Spring students might just change your mind

Milton Woody said his whole life he’s rarely seen girls in his welding class.

“Maybe one or two but they never welders,” he said. “They were just there because they got put there or whatever the case was. Out in the workforce, you never run into a lady welder at all, ever.”

But not this year.

Now there’s 16 girls enrolled in welding courses, each of them proving their metal.

“We have this thing called a weld off, you know, a guy will challenge us,” Welding Student Gabrielle Galan said. “I’ve beat my brother and that was a big accomplishment because he’s better at me than a lot of things. Now that I got to beat him at a welding competition, it’s nice.”

“Oh yeah, I can out weld a lot of them,” … said.

The students we spoke to said they’re not sure why so many female welders joined the shop this year.

But the girls said they and their fellow classmates don’t mind cutting into a male dominated field.

“I don’t really care about that,” “I just care about making money doing what I love the best.”

And they’ll walk through fire to do it.

“They’re fearless,” Woody said. “They walk in, fire going everywhere, sparks. We’re working with some things that get up to 50,000 degrees with our plasma cutters and they’re not intimidated. They go right in it.”

While these welders are just learning the basics today, Students said tomorrow there are going to be a lot more women in the field.

“I think it’s really cool. I think we all should all be like equals. So, whatever guys can do, girls can do.”

Woody said he wants even more girls to sign up for his course so they can start competing with other school districts.

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