Natalie was searching for an opportunity to enter the welding trades. Now she shares her passion as a mentor and teacher.
“My life has changed immensely over the last decade. I get to play with fire! It’s pretty awesome in my opinion.”
Natalie found her passion for welding at a young age.
“I’ve always had an interest in metal in general,” she recalls. “I grew up on a farm and remember loving the smell of steel and welding fumes.”
Natalie considered taking a welding shop class in high school but was reluctant to sign up, saying she was, “too scared.” After graduation, she worked various jobs while trying to find a company that would take her on as a welding apprentice.
She found her opportunity when she was accepted into Women Building Futures’ (WBF) Journeywoman Start program in 2008.
“The steel trades really did call out to me, and it felt like WBF would give me the chance to get my foot in the door and have an opportunity at a trade when other places weren’t giving me an opportunity, because I was young and inexperienced.”
The Journeywoman Start program offered Natalie a taste of the opportunities available to her and reinforced her interest in becoming a welder. After completing the program, she worked for a WBF Employment Partner to complete her apprenticeship.
Over the years, Natalie has become an expert in her trade, and shares her passion with the next generation of tradespeople as a mentor and teacher. She is a strong advocate for individuals who are underrepresented so they have continued growth, development, and prosperity within Industry. She is an active and courageous advocate for change. Her personal experience provides inspiration to many, ultimately helping advance sustainable change. On January 10th, 2023, we are proud to present Natalie with the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal for her contribution to our mission of economic security for women.