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Celebrating Women's History Month: women pursue careers in welding at NWTC

Women welders at NWTC
Posted at 11:00 PM, Mar 11, 2021

GREEN BAY — Sarah Fischer, welding instructor at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, says Women's History Month is a time to reflect.

"There were a lot of women welders in World War II," she said. "The fact that not too many people even know about that, I think this month, it always seems we reflect and look in the past to see where we can get to in the future.”

Welding wasn’t Fischer’s original career path, but one day, she decided to take the risk and try it.

“I was able to double my income in less than six months," said Fischer. "I had absolutely zero loans, zero school debt, nothing holding me back, and it was something that I just realized that I could do and I was good at it, and I just stuck with it.”

She wants young women to know they can do this too.

“I think it is getting better," said Fischer. "Every semester, we’re getting a couple more females in STEM classes that we have, which is really good to see.”

One of those students is Jennifer McNabb.

“so far my favorite part of it is just, really all of it," she said. "I just love all of welding.”

Jill Thiede, Associate Dean at NWTC, says she was lucky to have role models.

“My grandmother assembled dryers, my mom on her summers while she was going to school worked on aluminum foil lines," she said. "I worked in manufacturing for the past 30 years.“

She wants women of all ages to know that there’s nothing holding them back from breaking into the field.

“‘'Oh, I don’t know how to do that, I can’t go into that,'" said Thiede. "Well, guess what? There’s a lot of other people that didn’t know how to do it. And they went into it and they learned it. And you can too.”