Tag Archives: Lincoln Electric

Women Who Weld: Providing Equal Opportunities for Women in the Trades

One of the core values of the Carmen Electrode brand is empowering women. We strive to raise each other up, guide and support one another, learn and grow together, and encourage each other to take chances and step out of our comfort zones.

Through social media, we’ve been able to connect with thousands of women who exemplify these admirable characteristics. And we were lucky enough to meet with one of those women who we believe completely embodies this aspect of Carmen Electrode.

Women Who Weld creator Samantha Farr

Samantha Farr, the creator of the non-profit organization Women Who Weld, sat down with Arc-Zone’s Joanie Butler to discuss welding training, supporting women in the industry, and how Samantha went from urban planning to welding instructor.

Student Teacher

Over six years ago, Samantha pursued a Master’s degree at the University of Michigan. Although her studies were in urban planning, she knew she wanted to do something with welding but wasn’t sure how and when it would happen. As luck would have it, her courses included completing hours in the fabrication lab. “Within the first month at school getting my Master’s, I saw the fabrication lab and said, ‘This is my opportunity, I can take a welding workshop.’”

Unfortunately for Samantha, welding wouldn’t count toward her course credits but that wouldn’t stop her. With approval, Samantha created an independent study and was able to weld every Wednesday for two hours with welding instructor Mick Kennedy. “Immediately after striking my first arc, I said, ‘I have to get really good at this so I can teach other women because [they] should have this experience.’”

Practice Makes Perfect: Samantha Farr practices TIG welding in fabrication shop

Women Who Weld

After refining her welding skills, Samantha created Women Who Weld, a nonprofit organization offering free and low-cost welding courses to underemployed and unemployed women. “Typically you start a nonprofit when you have a ton of funding to do so, and I had zero but I knew that I wanted to have a program that was free of charge for unemployed and underemployed women. I really wanted to make an impact on the industry … and help transform their lives.”

Women listen as Samantha Farr teaches during Women Who Weld welding course

Samantha definitely made an impact on the industry, so much so that she’s taken her courses on the road. Samantha, along with her husband Corey, travel coast to coast teaching women of all ages the basics of welding.

In order to keep her program free, Samantha relies on grants and donations, as well as low-cost courses. One of her biggest challenges is funding but no matter how difficult it may get she says she’ll stick “with Women Who Weld because it’s always on that worst day where you get the call that says, ‘I just got that promotion!’ and also the strong, awesome community of welders where everyone is so supportive.”

Samantha Farr watches as student MIG welds

Support System

Where Samantha finds most of the support in the welding community is online, specifically Instagram. “When I first started the Women Who Weld Instagram account, I wondered what was out there and I had no idea how strong the welding Instagram community was. I’m amazed to find accounts like Carmen Electrode that showcase the women out there in the industry. To be able to see that and know we’re not alone. I have friends now, female welders from all over the country that I’ve been able to connect with because of Instagram.”

The online community is not only a great place to network and meet new people but it’s one of the places Samantha turns to for learning new techniques. “I watch Welding Tips and Tricks and other various YouTube videos. I also read a ton of books … [it] helps round out my skill set. I’m constantly learning. I wanna be an expert but it takes time. Until I’m an expert, I’ll ask for help and will continue asking for help because I like asking questions and collaborating with other people.”

Women Who Weld

The one person she enjoys collaborating with the most is her husband, Corey. “[He] is the managing partner at Women Who Weld. I taught him to weld a few years ago. He struck an arc and said, ‘This is awesome, I see why you’ve dedicated your life to this.’ We learn together and teach each other things. It’s a constant learning experience.”

To learn more about Samantha and her organization, visit www.WomenWhoWeld.org or check out @women.who.weld on Instagram.

Samantha Farr has her cake and eats it too, especially if it has her logo on it

Lincoln Electric’s Own Brand of Justice

With a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Dayton, Erin Justice was a good catch– for Lincoln Electric’s technical sales team. “I was recruited….right out of college,” she says.

As a native of the Cleveland area, Erin was familiar with the reputation of Lincoln Electric, a leading manufacturer of welding equipment. It was the people at Lincoln that clinched the deal. “Lincoln is a big company with a small company feel,” she says. “Everyone is very personable.” The combination of technical expertise and a pleasant work environment seemed to be the perfect fit.

Erin’s official bio states that although she had some experience welding during a stick welding lab in college, it wasn’t until she went through 16 weeks of welding classes at Lincoln’s renown welding school that she learned the special skills needed to excel as a technical sales representative in the Detroit District office.

As an engineer, it’s not surprising that Erin finds the challenge of welding to be a big part of the draw. “Welding is an art that requires a lot of practice. There is a lot of science and technology behind that art,” she says.

She is familiar with SMAW, GMAW, FCAW and SAW but counts GTAW as her favorite. “It takes a lot of time and skill to get good at. The skilled TIG welders I’ve met always have the best tips and tricks and it’s amazing to watch them work.”

Discrimination has not been a problem for Erin. “As a woman I don’t think people expect you to know a lot about welding. Once you show that you know what you’re talking about, it doesn’t matter what gender you are,” she says.

As proof, after a year and half, Erin was able to parlay her experience and skills to a move back to Cleveland where she is now a corporate trainer along with three other technical trainers at Lincoln’s headquarters. The school trains customers, distributors and Lincoln employees by providing general product knowledge, background for sales knowledge and best practices on maximizing productivity.

Growing up, Erin’s parents encouraged her development in math and sciences while her grandfather—an engineer—encouraged her to pursue her education in engineering. Had she known then what an integral part of her career welding would be, she probably would have advised her fifteen-year-old self to take a class or get involved with a welding club.

As for young women interested in welding as a career? Erin would encourage them to consider a career in welding even though women are still a minority. “There are a lot of great career opportunities available…. If you think about it, there aren’t too many things that you use on a daily basis that haven’t in some way been touched by welding.”

The Lincoln Electric Company, headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, is the world leader in the design, development and manufacture of arc welding products, robotic arc-welding systems, plasma and oxyfuel cutting equipment and has a leading global position in the brazing and soldering alloys market.

Since 1917, the Lincoln Electric Welding School has instructed over 100,000 men and women in the various methods and techniques of safety and arc welding processes. These Lincoln-trained students are in high demand by a variety of welding fabricators, at pay levels that exceed industry average. In addition, the school is listed by the Ohio State Board of School and College Registration, under certificate number 71-02-0059T. The Lincoln Electric Welding School is the oldest and one of the most respected arc welding schools in the United States.