Success Stories

Verenice, Class of 2015

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Fostering a Life-Long Welding Career at Workshops for Warriors

Marine Cpl. Verenice, 21, says that welding is not a “very girly job,” but she is drawn to it because she excels in it and she is up to the challenges it provides.

Verenice was trained as a welder through Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) school for six months. In MOS school, three or four women welders joined her. She said to be a woman welder feels good because you know you can do the job a man does just as well or even better.

She has been a welder in the Marines for two years. She is scheduled to end her military service in July 2016, and she expects to have earned all the Workshops for Warriors welding certifications available by this date.

“I decided I wanted to be a long-term welder a year ago. I really like it. It is a trade I know. I can acquire a well paying job in the civilian world,” she said.

It is the welding certifications that drew her to the Welding for Warriors program. This program is an accelerated 16-week course in Shielded Metal Arc Welding and Gas Metal Arc Welding for active-duty Marines.

Throughout her military training, she didn’t receive any certifications. When she heard of this program through her Chief Warrant Officer John Walter, she said she knew the certifications would play a key role in making her transition from the military to civilian workforce much easier.

“I think the certifications will make it easier for me to gain employment,” she explained. “I am trying to get all my certificates. I want to get a job where I can use all the welding skills that I have practiced.”

When starting her civilian career, Verenice hopes to remain in California. With certifications in hand, she anticipates a smooth transition. “I am happy to know that I will have a job waiting for me instead of worrying about how I will survive.” She expects to be a welder with a starting salary between $20 and $25 per hour.

Verenice is enjoying the training she is receiving at Workshops for Warriors. “It is teaching me to take measurements better, I am learning more welding techniques, and I am gathering more skills. My MOS school was shorter. It didn’t give you as much time practicing as you have here.”

She has also enjoyed the camaraderie she has developed with the welding instructors.

“They teach you new ways of how to do something you don’t understand. If I am having problems with my welding, they will take the time to make sure I get what I am doing. There are really great instructors here,” she said.

“I am looking forward to my civilian career as a welder.”

Verenice received the following nationally recognized credentials:

  • GMAWB Vertical
  • SMAWB Overhead
  • SMAWB Vertical