Manchester Community College
Associate of Applied Science, Welding Technology, 1991
Nikki Guidoboni, a motorcycle-riding, real-life “Rosie the Riveter,” began her welding career as a high school senior by taking a welding technology class at Pinkerton Academy in Derry.
“My stepfather worked on cars, built engines and did welding on the side. His influence is what drove my interest in welding.”
At the time, Manchester Community College (MCC) offered a welding Career and Technical Education Center (CTE) program at Pinkerton Academy for students to learn basic welding skills.
“I liked a challenge and enjoyed working with my hands. After high school, it made sense for me to continue my education and get a degree in an area that I enjoyed.”
After graduating high school, Nikki enrolled in the welding technology program at MCC when women were a minority in such classrooms and fields.
“The instructors at MCC were phenomenal. They were supportive in helping you do things the best way and would put in the extra mile to help you succeed – even when it came to finding a job after college.”
Nikki graduated from MCC in 1991 and started her career in a male-dominated field.
“My first job quickly taught me that I needed thick skin – especially as a female going into a ‘man’s world.’”
Nikki’s career took her from manufacturing elevators to becoming an iron worker at an avionics company, where she was one of two people in the country trained to repair a thermocouple sensor for the U.S. Navy. She later manufactured OEM equipment for paper mills throughout the world. Today, she works as a strategic sourcer for a global developer and supplier of process technologies for the pulp and paper industries.
“My experiences have molded me into who I’ve become over time, and I wanted to share that with other women.”
Nikki became an ambassador at MCC, offering encouragement and inspiration to other females entering a career in welding technology, including teaching a few years of Basic Gas and Arc Welding.
Nikki stays in contact with some of the people from her first welding job, and when she isn’t working or sharing her experiences with new students, she’s singing in her classic rock band, Mugshot Monday.
MCC offers an Associate of Applied Science Degree and a Professional Certificate in Welding Technology to help students develop a range of theories, knowledge and skills to make graduates work-ready and able to meet entry-level employment requirements.
Because the nation’s aging infrastructure will require the expertise of welders to help rebuild bridges, highways and buildings, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the job outlook for welders will continue to grow through 2029.