Lady welders earn certifications at career center

| February 26, 2019

COSHOCTON – Kaylee Garrett and Zoe Stafford made history at the Coshocton County Career Center.

“As far as I know they are the first girls in the school’s history to earn welding certifications,” said Richard Webb, instructor of the metal fabrication program.

Garrett and Stafford are both juniors and recently earned their AWS D1.1 Structural Welding Certification.

“I race at Hilltop Speedway and my Dad was always welding on my truck so I got into this so I could do that,” Stafford said. “I also feel like I’m learning way more here. I’d rather be here welding than sitting in classes. School’s not for everyone. You can get your certifications here without having to go on to more school.”

Garrett chose welding because she thought it would be interesting to learn.

“It’s also a good opportunity to make money,” she said. “You can get experience and certifications here (at the career center) that can get you hired straight out of high school.”

Juniors never got certified until last year, which was Webb’s first year at the career center.

“I figured why wait until their senior year to try and cram four tests in,” he said. “They can do two their junior year and two their senior year. “

He oversees the students welding projects for their certification and then sends them in to Total Quality Testing to be scored.

“You can get more than four certifications while you are here, but the first one your junior year and your senior year are paid for by us,” Webb said. “By starting their junior year they get to have their cards in their wallets before they graduate. They can go work at about any manufacturing place. These kids have a lot of opportunity. I always tell them to learn as much as they can. The more they know the more they can put in their wallet.”

Stafford and Garrett plan to go for all four certifications and use them to help them gain employment in the field. Garrett wants to run her own company someday and Stafford wants to build bridges.

“People think that this is just for guys, but girls can do this too,” Stafford said. “It’s been said girls are better welders because they want to make it perfect and have the eye for this.”

Both girls thank Webb for pushing them and their parents for their support. Stafford is the daughter of Stacie and Shawn Bible and Garrett is the daughter of Tiffany Franklin and Mark Franklin.

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Category: Education

About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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