Meet Tara Bailey, the first female welding student in the Welding@SVHEC program at the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center. A Halifax county native, she is a 2015 high school graduate. Tara became interested in a welding career at an early age after hearing her father talk about his work in the construction industry. "My father’s stories were so interesting I decided to learn more about welding and the construction industry. After doing some research I decided welding was something I wanted to do. I heard about the program at the SVHEC and enrolled."
"Women have a lot of finesse and put forth as much, if not, more effort than some guys. Tara will be great at welding and has shown and proven her skills thus far." Troy Comer, Welding Program Lead for the SoVA Center of Manufacturing Excellence.
The Welding@SVHEC program will train Tara in MIG, TIG, Stick, and Pipe welding in 16 months. She will earn nationally recognized certification from the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER), and will be eligible to sit for the American Welding Society’s certification exam. "I like Welding@SVHEC, and my instructors have really been helpful," she said. After completing the program in April 2017, she plans to work as a travelling welder, see the country, and have some exciting stories of her own.