Sparks Fly & Reignite Passion for Taylor Adams through Welding
Taylor Adams enjoyed helping people, so when she had an opportunity to take dual enrollment classes in high school, she took advantage of it and earned her Certified Nurse Aid license through her local technical college.
After graduating, she worked as a CNA for three years and started taking classes to compete for Oconee Fall Line Technical College’s (OFTC) sonography program. But she soon realized she’d lost her zeal for the healthcare profession and decided it wasn’t for her anymore.
“I was burned out and it wasn’t exciting to me anymore,” she said. “I knew I needed to further my education, but I wasn’t sure what direction to go in.”
She took a year off from school during the COVID-19 Pandemic and reevaluated the plans she had for her future.
That’s when she saw that OFTC offered welding, and everything changed.
A Passion Reignited
“When I saw welding was offered, I remembered that I thought about exploring welding as a dual enrollment student in high school but thought ‘I’m just a girl.’”
After researching females in welding, Adams discovered the average female welder can make $40,000 – $80,000 a year or more, and women have better hand stability and a lower center of gravity which makes them attractive candidates for welding.
She made the decision to enroll in OFTC’s welding program and has found the passion she thought she lost.
“Welding ties me to my creative side, and depending on what I choose to do as a career I can show it off,” she said. “I can make art on the side and can still help people, which is something I always want to do when possible. I could get a job welding the foundations to buildings so people can create their business in something that’s safe, or weld together boilers or submarines if that’s something I ever get interested in.”
OFTC Feels Like Home
Since starting her classes Adams has learned to love her OFTC campus and says it feels like home. “OFTC has all the characteristics that I looked for when deciding on a school,” Adams shared, “so it’s worth the hour drive to the Dublin Campus from my home in Milledgeville.”
And what she loves about her college is that she feels supported in an environment where others truly want to see her succeed.
“OFTC has a great atmosphere with advisors, teachers, and deans who want you to succeed,” she said. “They help push you in the right direction and introduce you to clubs and help you get involved on campus.”
She loves the hands-on aspect of the welding program, too.
“There is so much hands-on learning involved in the welding program, and I love that because it’s how I learn best,” she shared. “It’s preparing me for a career by helping me create muscle memory through repetition and that’s going to be something I can rely on in my future welding career.”
“A college like OFTC is the best option for someone who wants to pursue higher education,” she added. “It’s affordable, there are many programs and paths a student can choose from, and the staff is amazing and wants to see you succeed in life.”
She also mentioned the added benefits of free tutoring and a lending library that’s available to help students who cannot afford to purchase their textbooks. “The advantages of going to a technical college like OFTC are endless,” she added.
Adams is early in the welding program but can already see a future that sparks. “OFTC is helping me grow a lot as an individual and I’m learning so much from different mentors who have invested time into me and my future,” she shared.
“After I complete the program, I know that I’ll be prepared to get a job with a good company and become a valuable asset to their business by continuing to learn and grow in my field and by producing quality welds which is something I know I’m being prepared to do.”
Welding careers in Georgia are in-demand, and that’s why OFTC’s Welding program qualifies for Georgia’s Hope Career Grant which offers free tuition to qualified students who enroll in select majors specifically aligned with industries in which there are more jobs available in Georgia than there are skilled workers to fill them.