Women Find Their Niche in Welding
Butler Community College’s Welding Program Welcomes Three Females
Three local women decided to become welders this fall. After trying out other professions and schools, all three chose Butler Community College’s welding program. With hands-on learning and great job opportunities, these women realize welding is the perfect fit for them.
Kristin Mallon, 24, grew up in Wichita. She currently works at a dialysis clinic. At 3:30 a.m. each weekday morning, she heads to work and helps set up the clinic. She leaves by 6 a.m. for school. After a full day of welding school, she’s back at work for the evening shift.
“I never liked going to school, but I love it here (at Butler),” Mallon said. “It’s the best part of my day; it’s awesome.”
Mallon knows there’s a lot to learn, but she feels well-equipped to pick up the procedures.
“We all help each other out,” Mallon said. “We learn something new every day. It all ties in and makes sense.”
Shelby White, 27, said she always wanted to build objects and to weld. Her father, whom she labels a ‘jack-of-all-trades,’ was the first person who showed her how to weld. Now that she’s fine-tuning her skills at school, this Valley Center native said the possibilities are infinite.
“It’s a lot of work, but it’s worth it,” White said. “You can always do better at it and do harder techniques.”
Amy Crain, 25, began school as a medical science major. But after looking into welding, she changed her direction.
“I love the welding program. I look forward to getting up every day and coming to class,” Crain said. “Everybody here feels like they’re part of a family.”
Crain wants to travel. She knows once she finishes her welding certificate she can find a job out of state. Whether she uses a torch on the pipeline in North Dakota or Colorado, or she works on ships in Texas, this Towanda native is excited about traveling for work.
All three women like the excitement welding offers. In addition, they know their AWS instructor is preparing them to become AWS (American Welding Society) certified in SMAW (shielded metal arc welding), GMAW (gas metal arc welding) and GTAW (gas tungsten arc welding) certified.
Butler’s welding program offers a nine-month certificate or a two-year associate degree. The associate degree includes general education classes and can help a graduate move into management. For more information on welding, go to https://www.butlercc.edu/info/200162/welding-technology.
Cutline: (L to R) Amy Crain, Shelby White and Kristin Mallon study welding at Butler Community College.