TRINITY, NC (WGHP) — Michael Harmon’s Agriculture Mechanics class at Trinity High School is always at capacity with students.

These days, you will see a lot of females signing up.  One of the biggest draws for the class is the students learn how to weld.

Rebecca Brown says it’s become her favorite thing to do.

“Every time I get to school it’s what I am looking forward to,” she said.

Her classmate Alexandria Lannarone agrees. “Every day I come in and I’m like, I’m ready to weld,” says Lannarone. “I just want to get in there and weld. I want to practice, practice and practice.”

It is a skill that has attracted more and more females each year. Teacher, Michael Harmon, has watched more and more females enroll in his class. “My first few years of teaching, almost, 20 years ago, I don’t remember any females in this class,” he says. “So, it has changed. We have several female students that go on to become certified welders. During our program, they run some of the toughest welds that we have to offer and can throw at them. They go and be very successful if that’s the path they choose to follow.”

For many of the students, it is a definite possibility.

“Honestly, this is probably my number one choice in careers because I really enjoy it,” says Lannarone. 

Brown is sure her future plans will include welding. According to her, “I just know I want to be a welder. I don’t know. I’m learning how to do pipe right now and it’s on tig. I’m also going to learn how to do mig. So, I just know how to do all of them. And actually, me and two other people are thinking about trying to do business eventually, but we’re going to work for other people first.”

For Trinity student Allye Willis, “It’s definitely like a great experience,” she says. “Even if I don’t continue like a job, like in welding, it’s cool to have it there. It’s just overall like whether it’s just coming in the room during the day or like eventually finding a career in it.”

Careers in the field are wide open and can be very profitable. According to Harmon, “I’ve always said this is the one area that students can leave high school, obtain obtaining three years that can afford to feed themselves and a family. And that says a lot.” He adds he knows it’s definitely not glamorous, but it doesn’t seem to faze his students. “So, all of these students that chase this, this career, they’re very hands-on. They’re very goal-oriented,” Harmon says. “This is definitely not the best environment. It’s smokey, it’s dirty, it’s nasty, it’s hot, it’s cold. It’s never perfect. Those welds are hard to get to sometimes. They’re overhead. You know, so you, you’ve got to be tough. You got to be tough.”

And that they are! Lannarone laughed when she said, “You’re in there and if you sweat, you sweat, you’re working, it’s hot, you’re gonna sweat .”

But the end result, they say, is worth it!