LaShanda Harrison is a graduate of the Winston County Works welding program.
DOUBLE SPRINGS – LaShanda Harrison has worked multiple years as a boilermaker. She’s also been employed as a mechanic, carpenter and for a landscaping company.
After completing the welding program through the Winston County Works project, Harrison can now boast she’s a certified welder.
Harrison, 36, was among the first graduates of the welding classes at the Wallace State site in Double Springs, and her welding career has thrived upon completing the program.
“I was back home in Haleyville from an old job one day and decided I wanted to learn how to weld. I was around welders a lot when I was working as a boilermaker, so I wanted to learn how to weld myself and become certified. While it was a good job for me, being a boilermaker is an extremely dangerous job and I wanted something less dangerous,” Harrison said. “I believe you should never want to stop learning in life, so I’m glad this opportunity was available.”
As she was searching for welding classes, Harrison, a Haleyville High grad, made a couple of calls before contacting Winston County High School. She was then made aware of the Winston County Works program, spearheaded by Wallace State, and has flourished ever since. Harrison has worked in multiple cities since obtaining her welding certificate, traveling for work projects in Florida, Arkansas and Georgia. She’s also worked for as much as $35 an hour at the job sites.
“I’ve had so many doors opened that otherwise wouldn’t have been possible without this certification. It’s definitely something I enjoy doing,” said Harrison, who has spent her adult life living in both Colorado and Alabama. “Right now, I enjoy traveling to different sites and taking care of the jobs that need to be done.”
Harrison was among the inaugural welding graduates in Double Springs. The welding classes through the Winston County Works project requires students to attend classes three nights a week for 10 weeks. A new welding class is set to begin in June. If you are interested in enrolling in any upcoming welding classes, please contact 256-352-7826 or Jamie Blackmon at 256-352-8461.
Harrison, like many of her classmates, found the night welding classes to be conducive to a heavy work schedule, allowing students to work during the day and take the welding classes at night.
“You have to be dedicated, disciplined and patient to learn the ins and outs of welding in 10 weeks and you need to listen. Like anything, you become good with more practice you have. I had some good classmates. We helped each other out,” Harrison said. “Welding may not be for everyone, but it’s a great opportunity for those individuals who have always thought about making it a profession. If it’s something you think you’ll love, you should try it out and run with it.”
For more information about Wallace State, visit wallacestate.edu.