May 23, 2023 Feature Story

“Woman Welder” pride brings Wor-Wic a new instructor


Mary Majchrzak of Salisbury is bringing her talent and experience to Wor-Wic as an instructor for its new associate degree in welding.

Welding is more likely to conjure images of rugged metalworkers making sparks fly, rather than a vase of roses. But creative welding is the aspect of the craft that Mary Majchrzak of Salisbury loves best, and the one that earned her an award. Now Majchrzak is bringing her talent and experience to Wor-Wic Community College as an instructor for its new associate degree in welding.

Becoming a skilled welder wasn’t what Majchrzak had expected. She spent a long time in health care, but one day decided to attend an evening welding class at her local community college in Mississippi. “I was surprised by how much I liked it,” she said.

In her spare time, she used scraps from the class to create a metal sculpture of flowers in a vase. The sculpture ended up winning first place in the state SkillsUSA competition. “I couldn’t believe I won, and got to be in the national competition,” she said.

Majchrzak used her success to share her profession with those who might not traditionally consider it. “I was a guest speaker for a girls club at our military base,” said Majchrzak, whose husband was in the Navy. “When I told people I was leaving nursing and going into welding, they were surprised. But people are accepting of women in the field, especially here on the Eastern Shore.”

Majchrzak earned her associate degree and worked as a welder at Huntington Ingalls Shipbuilding. When her family resettled on the Eastern Shore, she opened her own custom welding business, My Mary Way. “I send art all over the country with my business, but I’ll also weld a trailer hitch,” Majchrzak said.

She decided to attend Wor-Wic to learn X-ray technology — not to go back into the medical field, but because welding inspectors use X-rays to inspect the quality of welds. But in the Wor-Wic parking lot, someone noticed the “Woman Welder” sticker on her truck. “The next thing I knew, I had been recruited,” she said.

Now Majchrzak is excited to teach Wor-Wic’s first class of students in the credit welding program this fall. Wor-Wic has long offered non-credit classes in welding to prepare for certification, but 2023 marks the first time it has offered an associate degree program in the field. “Having an associate degree has opened up so many doors for me,” Majchrzak said. “I am looking forward to helping others through the doors too.”
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