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Kara Buote Welding '21

A female welder poses with her welder's helmet lifted to reveal her face.

By Michelle MacNeil, Social Media Officer

Kara Buote first tried welding in high school. Initially, it was an opportunity to fill a gap in her schedule and try something new, but she had a natural aptitude for the skill.

“You’ve got steady hands, you make good welds,” her shop teacher told her. 

After graduation, she enrolled in university, but a few years later, she wanted something different. She also wanted to find a program that could lead to a career at home in PEI. 

“I wanted to work with my hands, so I thought back to the welding class I took in high school.” 

Last fall, she started the welding program at Holland College. She never realized how many different welding processes there were before taking the program.

“You have MIG, TIG, Arc gouging…. It can be tricky, but at the same time very satisfying when you get it right,” Buote said. 

She liked the atmosphere of the classroom, and the collaborative environment of the shop, often learning as many tricks from classmates as she did from instructors. Over time, she became more confident with her welds and began working on some personal projects in her spare time. 

“I had an old plastic lamp from Walmart, it was no good and kept falling apart.”

A black rustic lamp welded from pipes and other scrap materials sits on a wooden desk

She disassembled it, taking off the plastic but leaving the wiring and mechanical pieces intact. Then she rebuilt it by welding together old scrap metal. 

“It's like a junkyard lamp. I’m still using it,” she said.

She encourages anyone considering a career in welding to enroll in the program. 

 “I came in not knowing certain things, things I look back on that seem common sense now. But at the time they weren’t. The teachers showed me how to do things and they were patient, even showing me again if need be.” 

The program is good for someone new to welding, or anyone looking to refine their skills," Buote said. “They give you everything you need. They teach you the processes, then give you on-the-job training…. They show you what to look for in a good weld and also how to fix it”

Today, Buote is working at the welding shop where she did her on-the-job training and hopes to write her red seal in the future.

Learn more about our Welding Fabrication Year 1 program here.

For more information, please contact:
Sara Underwood, Media and Communications Officer
Tel: 902-566-9695
Date: June 11, 2021