After eight years working on a dairy farm, Naomi Wells’ brother was supportive of her career move, but her parents were not. She wanted to be a welder.
“I think they were concerned with it being a health hazard and me working in a field that’s not typical for females,” Naomi recalled. “After talking with different people and gaining knowledge of the improved personal protection equipment they slowly became more and more supportive. Now they are my biggest fans and support me day after day.”
Naomi enrolled in the Welding program at Western Technical College. She appreciated support from staff, including counselors, the nontraditional occupations coordinator, and the program instructors. Shortly after completing the technical diploma she got a job at GEA Farm Technologies as a TIG welder mainly welding stainless steel sub assemblies for dairy parlors.
“I really enjoy the farm life but I was looking out for my future and my dreams more than anything. I wanted health insurance and a retirement savings plan,” she explained.
“Welding is a skill that not everybody has, so to me it is awesome to be able to say it’s what I do to support myself,” she said. Naomi is very satisfied with her current career, but after gaining more experience she plans on obtaining certification as a welding inspector.
Naomi encourages other women to pursue this career. “It can be challenging but it’s well worth it if it’s what you want.”