There’s no holding back 17-year-old Alecia Johnson, an early graduate (December, 2017) of Omaha Northwest High School. Enrolled in Welding Technology classes at Metropolitan Community College, Johnson has her sights set on working for Distefano Technology & Manufacturing in Omaha as soon as she completes her 12-week certification program. While working, Johnson will continue the coursework necessary to earn an Associate’s Degree from MCC.
Johnson first became aware of the potential for a career in welding during a job shadow experience her junior year at Northwest, and she “really liked it,” despite the intense heat’s negative impact on her long hair and newly painted fingernails.
“I have a lot to prove,” Johnson says, “but I know I can do it. I like doing tasks, keeping busy. When I am done with one task, I am ready to move on to the next project.”
“Taleya Broadway, the Career Coach at Omaha Northwest, convinced Johnson she could succeed in a male-dominated career field. Johnson credits Broadway for bringing it (the welding field) to her attention.
“She explained that it’s a high demand field, and the teacher at Distefano told me that a lot of people will be retiring in the next few years,” Johnson said. “She believes in me. She knows I am a go-getter.”
When Johnson heard of the potential for a good-paying job in this high demand field, she was motivated to pursue the career as a means to provide for her two-year-old son.