Welding a Way Forward with Danea

Segment #2 from Eastern Iowa Community Colleges


Okay, let’s meet Danea, a recent graduate of EICC’s welding certificate program. At EICC, the Blong Technology Center is a hub for skilled workforce training. It’s a home to several credit and non-credit career programs including engineering technology, additive manufacturing and 3D modeling, C and C machining, and truck driving. The classrooms and labs within those walls changed the trajectory of Danea’s life. Danea, you are up.

– Appreciate the intro, Alex. Growing up in a abusive unstable home, I was unable to finish high school. I didn’t know where I was gonna live and was working in food service to get by. I knew I wanted more. I earned my GED and then was introduced to EICC’s Welding program. In 16 weeks, I earned a Welding certificate. It changed my life. I chose to study welding because of the demand for skilled workers and great pay. I thought I could do it, but knew nothing about it. The first few weeks of school I was mad confused, but the more I practiced, the easier it got. My instructor was the best teacher I ever had. She understood my journey because she started with zero knowledge too. Those 16 weeks were tough. I was up at 4:00 AM to catch a bus for an eight o’clock class. I was worried about passing, but I was determined and EICC was supportive in every way. They have this Caring Closet with clothes and food for students that helped me when I needed it most. EICC has close ties with local employers and we visited several companies. I made connections and landed a job immediately after finishing my classes. I recently turned 18 and I am so proud to have a career I love. I feel like I’m creating art and enjoy the thrill of making a good weld, and I’m earning more money than I ever thought I could. I’m saving up for a car and focusing on bettering myself. I can weld with one hand now like it’s nothing. For a while when I had nowhere to live I felt like my life was over, but I found EICC at just the right time and I’ve ignited a bright future. Let the sparks fly, Alex!

– Danea, your journey from adversity to achievement is a testament to the power of education. It’s pretty amazing how you moved from uncertainty to making a great living in only 16 weeks. Amazing. We know the future will continue to be bright for you, Danea. Thanks again.

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