Women in the Trades: Bethlehem teen says BOCES has the ‘Wright’ stuff to launch her into a career

A Bethlehem teenager is looking for a career at the extremes of the earth—either undersea or in space—and has chosen Capital Region BOCES to propel her to professional success.

Alexis Wright is a junior at Bethlehem Central High School and attends the Welding & Metal Fabrication program at the our Career & Technical Education Center – Albany Campus.

A student in protective clothing and headgear welds. Orange sparks appear.
Alexis Wright in action at our Career & Technical Education Center – Albany Campus

Enamored with the options a career in welding can afford someone, she chose a profession that, according to federal statistics for 2020, only 4 percent of women are currently working in.

“Being the welding program at Capital Region BOCES makes me feel good about myself,” she said. “It’s good to show that women can do anything.

March is Women in the Trades Month

March is National Women in the Trades Month and throughout the month, Capital Region BOCES Career and Technical School is shining a spotlight on women in the trades, like Wright, who are challenging stereotypes and building solid futures through their education in our programs.

Wright plans to pursue a career as an underwater welder or a welder of aeronautics and space craft.

“I love the sea and I also love space, aircrafts and aeronautics so either would be great,” she said.

Wright has already been scuba diving so the next step on career path would be an underwater welding college, which is the same path that 2017 BOCES and Middleburgh graduate Samantha Petrosino pursued.

Wright said she enjoys all that the Welding and Metal Fabrication program offers.

“I like that the program is hands-on. I like working with my hands and learning new skills,” she said. “I found that I really like MIG welding and the process of using wire to weld.” (MIG welding is an arc welding process in which a continuous solid wire electrode is fed through a welding gun and into the weld pool, joining the two base materials together.)

The Bethlehem teen added that she finds the program “very comfortable. You can do one-on-one work. You have a lot of choices with what you do and the things we learn and work on are fun.”

Wright’s teacher, Connor Fancher said “Alexis is a joy to work with. She is a hard worker and puts her all into whatever she’s working on. She has a bright future in the trades.”

Learn more about Women in Trades and our programs

We celebrate and applaud women in the skilled trades well beyond the month of March but are using this time to encourage even more young women to consider non-traditional career paths by showcasing current female students and successful female graduates. Read more about our Women in the Trades!

Enrollment in programs – including Welding & Metal Fabrication – is currently underway for the 2023-24 school year. Learn more about our career and technical school programs.