KALISPELL — Flathead Valley Community College (FVCC) kicked off its Women in Welding course, to bring women unfamiliar with welding into a space where they get the confidence to be in a male-dominated field.
“I'm really excited about it because it's going to give an opportunity for women in the Valley and throughout the state of Montana to come and experience welding,” said Julie Arnold, an adjunct welding instructor at FVCC.
The course is designed for women and by women, giving women the tools to start welding in a non-threatening environment. “For people that have never had the opportunity, it's hard to get started and it's hard to know where to start,” said Arnold.
Which is exactly what this course is about, and to let the beginners know it is okay to not have a clue what to do.
"To have the possibility of being in here, hands-on and to have it be OK to not have any previous welding experience. We're going to really dive through all the details from safety, to the actual welding itself,” said Arnold.
Arnold says the women who have signed up are also going to be teaching her.
"We’re getting women from all sorts of different careers, whether it's trades or something else. So, I am curious about what information I'm going to gather and what I'm going to learn and how I can better help them to gain confidence,” said Arnold.
Arnold told MTN News that she is excited to have the course start.
“I'm going to meet incredible people throughout the state of Montana and give them the opportunity to really dive in, get to know welding, the shop environment, and just see where it takes off for them,” said Arnold.
The sessions in May are full but there are still spots left in June, and you can find more information here.