Local women welders spark inspiration on next generation of tradeswomen

A female with a commanding tone of voice stands surrounded by twelve teenagers. She’s wearing a dark blue work shirt which has “Weld-Ed” stitched on the kept breast. Her darkish hair is swept into a part braid, and on her behalf head sits a snug-fitting denim cap with polka dots. She looks intently at each college student. “This is an extremely fun work,” Liisa Pine Schoonmaker says. “It’s hands-on all day, until you decide to maintain charge and tell everyone else what to do.”

Most of the teens stare silently around the room, seemingly unimpressed. A few, mostly young girls, nod along as Pine Schoonmaker has reasons why they should all turn into welders.

“Rough crowd,” Pine Schoonmaker jokes during a speedy break between student groups. She actually is hosting students from Oakland schools during a career and technological education tour, designed to spark student fascination in areas like welding, carpentry and equipment technology. Pine Schoonmaker is the only female instructor in the welding department at Laney College, and the department chair. She wants students, specifically the girls, to realize that welding can provide them with stable work, good pay out and intellectual challenges.

After she clarifies what welding is (using heat from gas or electricity to become listed on two bits of metal) and what it’s for (from building a bicycle to mending a submarine), Pine Schoonmaker qualified prospects the students deeper into the lab. Each is required to put on safety goggles, causing some to laugh and tease each other. Unsure of what they will be going to see, the teenagers contact form two lines, one on each part of the metallic cutting tables. The room has excessive a ceiling and tough lighting, intensifying its commercial think. Hoses and spigots hang from a pipe that runs above their heads. Person oxyacetylene cutting stations series the perimeter of the space.

Read the rest of the story by Anne Wernikoff at Oakland North.

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