▪️Kaitlyn is 20 years old, and in her second year of college for welding. She received her qualifications in December and is finishing out her Associates Degree at Mountain Empire Community College. This summer semester, she will begin power lineman classes and hopefully will graduate with her Welding Associates Degree, a Certificate Power Lineman and CDLS.
▫️Kaitlyn had originally talked about going for a diesel mechanic certification, but decided that working on vehicles was better off as a hobby. She knew she didn’t want to work in an office setting, and she wasn’t ready to leave her hometown. So she began looking at what courses her community college had to offer, and welding was one of them. She had never touched a welder until her first day of college, but she fell absolutely in love with it.
▪️Welding started off as a bit of a joke between her and a friend, he suggested it because she didn’t mind getting down and dirty. But she ended up loving it, and sticking with it. At first her confidence was pretty low, it was very difficult work and she was the only female in the program. 2 years later, and she is still the only female.
▫️ In her spare time, Kaitlyn can be found working on her ‘71 super beetle and fighting wild fires with her dad. She is a 3rd generation fire fighter, her grandfather, father and mother have all been working with the Virginia Department of Forestry since the 60’s. Kaitlyn had dreamed of doing it since she was a little girl, and finally started when she turned 18 in 2019. She has been on a couple dozen calls, and she says the thrill of standing beside a 60ft flame cannot be beat!
▪️ @victorias_metalworks Thank you so much for sharing your incredible story with me! I cannot wait to see everything that you accomplish with all of your certifications! You are going to be absolutely amazing! Be safe fighting those fires!
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