Brie Jenkins has the heart of a welder. Her passion for the profession and her technical talents have brought the OTC graduate both state and national honors. Her skills have also earned her excellent job opportunities, including a job at the local stainless steel manufacturer, Paul Mueller Co., where she now works as an engineering design technician.
Her love for welding has also brought Brie back to OTC, where she teaches other students those same welding skills. She has done all of this in a profession where only 3 percent of all welders are women. Brie wears that distinction with honor.
“I would recommend welding for women or anyone who likes to work with their hands,” said Brie, who grew up in Pittsburg, Mo., watching her father and grandfather weld at the custom structural steel company they operated.
Brie has been teaching part-time at OTC since 2015. She is a strong advocate and example for women entering the welding field.
“Brie is such an inspiration in the welding program, not only to the female students but to everyone involved. She is a talented welder. We are lucky to have her as an adjunct instructor and a symbol of what women can aspire to in this industry,” said Carl Bridwell, a welding technology instructor.
Brie earned her first job with Paul Mueller Co. working in the machine shop while she was still a student at OTC. She impressed many experienced welders by finishing second in the American Welding Society’s Oktoberfest held several years ago in Springfield.
Brie also took her welding skills to the state and national stage when she competed as a student in the SkillsUSA competitions. It was Brie’s former welding instructors who convinced her to return to OTC as a teacher after graduation.
“It’s been a very rewarding job. I enjoy teaching. I’m more of a student now than the students are. I’m learning so much,” she said.
Brie may be breaking traditions and setting examples, but for this welding pro, her fondness for welding boils down to something simple “I like welding because it lets me work with my hands. It’s a skill I know that I will always have.”