By Meaghan MacDonald-Pool MSU NEWS SERVICE
BOZEMAN —Montana State University’s Gallatin College recently wrapped up a unique nine-week welding course designed for women and taught by women in the industry.
The noncredit welding course was offered through Gallatin College’s welding technology program in partnership with MSU’s Academic Technology and Outreach and was funded in part through a grant from the Red Ants Pants Foundation, a nonprofit that fosters strength and self-reliance in women in rural agricultural communities.
The goal of the course was to expand the skillsets of women in Gallatin, Park, Meagher, Madison, Jefferson and Broadwater counties to include welding and metalworking in their work on farms and ranches. The course taught its 16 students how to use metalworking tools and equipment as well as the basics of welding. The hope is that students can use their broadened skills to fill valuable roles within their communities, diversify workplaces and expand grow local economies.