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Latinas Welding Guild hosting youth summer camp to improve welding pipeline

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Latinas Welding Guild is in a sense passing the torch, recruiting youngsters to participate for the first time in it’s summer welding camp.

It isn’t your average summer camp, but organizers say it’s fun and can set them up on the path to a future career. They say they hope this is another step to helping people think differently and positively about trade careers.

Consuelo Lockhart got the spark to do something different six years ago when she founded The Latinas Welding Guild. An artist and welder by trade, it’s a career field bursting with opportunity.

“Some shops are desperately looking for 10 or more welders. Across the country, there’s over 100,000 jobs, and it just continues to keep growing and growing.”

The initial focus was providing training to women looking to break into the male-dominated field. Over time, the businesses has evolved, now offering co-ed training and support.

“I think we will make an impact hopefully, especially locally. I know a lot of businesses are saying there’s more talent coming, so we’re really trying to create that pipe line of talent whether that’s women or men.”

It’s evolving again. Putting out the call to those in grades 6th through 12th interested in STEM, who like working with their hands, and are curious.

The two-week summer camp will have support in both English and Spanish. Students will be guided through a series of skills to set them down the welding career path.

“There are a lot of kids who are on waitlists, who can’t get into other welding program. The earlier we can get them, the likelier they could possibly get hired out their junior or senior year for welding jobs,” said Lockhart.

Latina Welding Guild will be partnering with a soon to open trade charter school to further increase the welding trade pipeline.

“You can have a really great career, or you can even build your own career using welding.”

There are scholarships and support for camp participant hopefuls. The deadline to apply is July 1.