Residents of Barbour County completed the Women in Welding workshops in 2021, offered by Wallace Community College Sparks Campus. Female high school sophomores, juniors, or seniors, along with unemployed and underemployed adult women attended these sessions at no cost thanks to funding by Wiregrass RC&D.
The workshops address the needs of area businesses, specifically in the agricultural industries. Participants were introduced to processes needed to repair or fabricate equipment, parts or implements. The workshops increased awareness of and interest in welding, while teaching women a technical skill with a starting salary of $15-$25 per hour. Joe Johnson, Director of Workforce Development, noted that many of the attendees signed up for Welding courses after the workshop, showing a marked increase in welding interest.