Morgan Kelley took a semester of welding through a program at James M. Bennett while in high school, but decided not to stick with it. She said that even though she liked it, she wanted to take Advanced Placement classes to prepare for college. Kelley graduated from James M. Bennett High School and then went on to earn a bachelor of science degree in biology from George Washington University.
Metalworking runs in the family, as her grandfather was a blacksmith. “I always wanted to return to welding,” she said. “After college, I didn’t have a really clear plan or desire to pursue biology so I decided it was a good time to learn welding as a trade.”
Kelley said she chose Wor-Wic because she is from Salisbury and was living at home with her parents. “It was convenient and I’ve always heard that people have a good experience at Wor-Wic.”
She said she really enjoyed the welding course, the instructor and her classmates. “I like welding because it requires focus and there’s always something to do. I’ve always enjoyed constructing things and hope to also do metal art in the future.”
The instructor, David Willey, was so impressed with her motivation and skills that he hired her to work in his business. “I could tell she had a lot of natural ability,” Willey observed. “She was very steady in class. She also had a great attitude, was a good listener and was willing to help others. You don’t see all of those traits in prospective employees as much today.”
Kelley said she wished high schools encouraged and provided more career-oriented training to students on a different path. “College degrees are viewed as highly necessary, but they are also very expensive and I think more education in the skilled trades could help many students move forward in life,” she explained.
“Institutions like Wor-Wic do a great job of bridging that gap.”