BUTTE COUNTY, Calif. - Middle school girls in Butte County just wrapped up a week of learning how to work with metal.
"The ability for girls to learn how to weld and do business management early on. I think the sooner you can get them going on this the better,” said Jackie Hospers, who lives in Gridley.
The Butte County Office of Education is teaching middle school girls how to bring the heat to metal.
"Many of us are only exposed to the careers that we know about through perhaps our parents or family members or the ones that we learn about in school,” said Mary Rose Lovgren, administrator for the Butte County Office of Education.
That is how it was for the mother of three.
"It's just things you don't typically think about for girls, but there is absolutely no reason why the same opportunity shouldn't be presented,” Hospers told Action News Now.
These welders have been making their mark on horseshoes.
"So we have seen students make owls and write out their last name,” said Lovgren. “Just the sky is the limit for what they create.”
It is not just welding, as the county is opening a doorway to other exciting careers.
"That could be anything from welding to construction, business management, entrepreneurship, veterinary science, drones and computer programming,” said Lovgren.
There are also opportunities for adults.
Even with just a high school diploma, you can become a registered dental assistant in just nine months, getting real hands-on experience working with patients.
"There are also the soft skills that students are learning,” said Lovgren. “How to keep a job once you get one, what are employers looking for, how to be on time, how to use your materials wisely."
These classes run through June and July, but they are looking to expand beyond just the summertime in the future.
"Too many kids are put in front of a tablet, and they are so involved in electronics that they don't actually go out and learn these skills,” said Hospers. “I think there's a huge need.”