Weld My World - Welding News

My Walk Has Never Been Average

Donna Hammond worked for over 30 years as an electrician on construction sites, and as one of the few African American women on the job site, she experienced frequent discrimination. Sometimes her life was in danger.

Roberta Hunte discovered Hammond’s story while working on her dissertation. The stories from Hammond are shocking.

She remembers a frightening incident while she was doing some welding at 20 amps. She says someone secretly turned up the amperage on her welder to 150.

“Sparks were flying. Fire everywhere. I thought my hair was on fire,” says Hammond, who also recalls an electrician who did not want to be seen working with her. “He would make me walk 10, maybe five paces behind him.”

Hammond’s story has also been adapted into a multi-media play called My Walk Has Never Been Average. The play aims to tell the story of African American Women working in the construction field.

Welding Industry

Which Cities Have the Best Blue-Collar Jobs?: “The big winner is the Houston metro area, in large part due to the energy industry, which has added 23,000 jobs since 2010. It also reflects local growth in the high-wage manufacturing (up 30,000 jobs) and trade and transport sectors (up 26,000), while construction employment has surged nearly 20,000, a number matched only by the much larger New York metro area. Houston tops our list of the cities creating the most good blue-collar jobs. (Our ranking is based 50-50 on growth from 2007-13 and 2010-13.) Not far behind in second place is Oklahoma City, which has clocked a similarly broad increase, led by 28% growth in energy employment, 6% in construction and 15% in manufacturing.”

Welding Jobs

Wisconsin Welding Shop Can’t Find Enough Welders: “’We lose a lot of business because we do not have enough people to staff our shop,’ said Larry Willer, operations manager for W.M. Sprinkman Corp. in Elroy. Sprinkman needs more welders. In fact, Willer said, the welder shortage is one of the biggest problems the company faces.”

Vancouver Ship Yards Turn to the Philippines for Welders: “Thousands of new jobs in the skilled trades were created in British Columbia when the federal government gave the Vancouver Shipyards the $3.3 billion contract to build 10 new non-combat ships for the Canadian Coast Guard last year.

This includes jobs in welding and pipe-fitting. Anticipating a possible shortage of qualified tradesmen, the Canadian Welding Bureau accredited test centers in the Philippines to screen well-trained welders.”

Welding Education

College in Illinois Opens New Welding Lab: “South Suburban College was one of 17 recipients of the first round of Trade Adjustment Assistance funding from the U.S. Department of Labor through the Illinois Green Economy Network. This grant funded the new lab with eight welding stations and a state-of-the art welding simulator.”

College in Herkimer, NY Offers Welding Courses: “Basic Welding is an introductory course teaching safety, oxyacetylene welding and cutting, basics of stick welding and how to repair ferrous and non-ferrous metals. The class will meet for eight sessions from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. beginning on Monday, Feb. 3. Pre-registration is required.”

Central Community College in Columbus Expands Welding Program: “Students in the welding technology program at Central Community College-Columbus will soon have a new place to sharpen their skills. Next month, the college will host an open house for its 9,550-square-foot addition to the North Education Building that houses the welding program.”

Welding Events

Pipeline Conference: March 4–5, 2014. Houston, TX. Sheraton Houston Brookhollow.

Welding has always been an integral part of pipeline construction. It all goes back to the days when hand-held oxyacetylene torches were used to connect pipes together in the field. Current and future pipeline welding trends will be discussed during this AWS-sponsored conference on pipeline welding.

Welding Gone Wrong

Welding Accident Causes Apartment Fire: “Fire crews were called to the 6900 block of North Vandiver around 3:25 p.m. Tuesday. Officials said the fire started when some welders were doing work in the attic of a two-story apt building there.”

Welding Fire Causes Minor Damage at Store: “A pair of welders working on the roof of the Sam Moon Center in Shenandoah got a scare Monday afternoon when a small fire broke out.

Units with The Woodlands Fire Department and the South County Fire Department responded to reports of smoke coming from the southeast corner of the roof at the shopping center just after 4 p.m. Firefighters were able to extinguish the small fire, which caused some minor damage to some of the roofing material”

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Now that you know what’s going on in the world of welding, visit Baker’s Gas and Welding for the latest deals in welders, welding safety gear, and welding supplies.


Ed C.


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