Empowering Women in Welding

 Welding alum Gerrilyn web story header

A calm learning environment, hands-on work, and skilled, supportive instructors. That’s what brought Gerrilyn Kujawa to Anoka Technical College.

As a graduate of Anoka Technical High School, located within the college, Gerrilyn was already comfortable with the campus. She knew what to expect from the school and was seeking a career that would fuel both her desire to be creative and provide for herself.

“I had very little knowledge of welding before I joined the program, so everything was quite new to me, and that was certainly intimidating,” shared Gerrilyn.  “I struggled in the beginning, but I had the determination to achieve my goals and I knew that if I stuck to it and tried my best, I could get where I wanted to be.”

Persistence paid off and by the end of the program, Gerrilyn had earned a spot on the dean's list along with her Welding Technology diploma.

Blending the creative and practical

Welding alum Gerrilyn creating flower

One of Gerrilyn’s goals was to inspire people, specifically women, to try welding or express creativity in any way. During her time at Anoka Tech, she was grateful to have the opportunity to do both.

“My welding class participated in a lamp-making contest which was judged by the students of the college,” recalled Gerrilyn. “It was very fun seeing everyone enjoy all the welded lamps, and talking about which ones they liked and why. The best part about my trade is watching what I do benefit others, and that was a wonderful first experience for me.”

Transition into the world of welding

Since graduation, Gerrilyn has been working as a full-time welder with Code Welding and Manufacturing. She continues to learn and improve upon the skills she gained at Anoka Tech every day. Gerrilyn also takes any opportunity she can to share her creativity and love for welding. In 2018, Gerrilyn volunteered at the Minnesota State Fair in the Lincoln Electric Trailer to teach people how to weld using their virtual welding systems.

“The instructors do an excellent job preparing us for the type of work we could be doing in the future, and they are very understanding of the time and practice required to get there.”

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There are still openings for fall enrollment in Anoka Tech's evening and Cambridge area Welding program, learn more today.

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