Mikala Harrison

Welding Technician 

Ever since I graduated from high school in 2017, I have been figuring out what career path I wanted to pursue. About two years ago, I was working with my father in his garage while he was welding. I had never seen a welder before but I wanted to try it for fun, and I instantly loved it!

Fast forward to a year later, and I was sitting in the first day of class in the Scarlet Oaks welding program. I was in complete awe that I was finally sitting in class preparing for my future in just ten short months. I am the only female in my class, which makes me want to push harder in a male-dominated industry. I do not look at that as a negative thing; I look at it as more career opportunities and uniqueness.

The first week we started welding I did not know what to expect.  My instructor explained what to do and then we were off on our own. Mentally, this has taught me to be independent and to be a problem solver.

Right off the bat I had to get into the right mindset of “I am here to learn a skilled trade do not give up when it gets hard.” Being at school for 22 hours a week can be mentally and physically tough, and it has shown me a side to myself that I have never known before. I have proved to myself that I can accomplish anything I put my mind to, and nothing is impossible. Skilled trades are in great need right now because older folks are retiring and the time for young people to step up is now. Getting a career technical education is incredibly rewarding and valuable. It shows that I put in the hours, time, and dedication to learn a skill set that I did not have before schooling, and I am honored to be a part of a growing trade.