Skill isn't bound by gender
BAINBRIDGE, GA (WALB) - A non-traditional career training program is helping south Georgia women succeed in jobs traditionally dominated by men.
Students at Bainbridge State College are proving that gender has nothing to do with skill.
Who says women can't weld? Amber Felver has definitely proven the doubters wrong. But she admits she wasn't always this confident in a classroom full of men.
"I was the only girl and it was a little intimidating, not feeling like I was going to fit in. My first day I showed up in flip flops and shorts and nobody took me seriously," said Amber Felver.
But that all changed once she put her gloves on and got to work. She says welding runs in her blood.
"My grandpa was a welder. He actually had a stroke 30 years ago and he doesn't talk. But when I bring home a welding piece, he definitely has some ideas of how well I am," Felver said.
General Electronics student Lori Geller says her grandfather was also her inspiration to pursue a career she loved. "Growing up, I wanted to be a firefighter. And I was told I couldn't because I was a woman. And I held on to that for a long time. And grandpa took over and told me I could do whatever I wanted to do. So I kind of owe it to him."
These woman are part of what is known as non-traditional careers because their gender makes up less than 25% of the workforce. Both students hope for a future where stigmas won't affect a person's career path.
"I'm 43, and I've got tattoos, and there's a lot of stigma that we walk around with in life. But it's people like me, I'm human, I'm nice, and that will change the stigmas," said Geller.
Instructors say they hope this training inspires more students to take a chance and be different.