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Nicole Rockwell

The only career I remember dreaming about when I was younger was nursing. While in high school, I began a nursing program through the high school vocational program, but quickly realized that wasn’t for me. After that I started a family and went to work. I began working in the food service industry. I worked for McDonalds for 11 years, most of that time as shift management, and was sent to McDonald’s Hamburger University in Chicago in preparation for general management.

Over time I developed an interest in welding but had a lot of questions about it. It was a little intimidating to think about going back to school after being out for so long. I found out about NCST and scheduled a tour. After talking with their admissions rep and hearing her explain the program and career possibilities, I knew it was what I wanted to do. There were a lot of things I liked about the school and the program. The East Liverpool Campus is small and intimate, the training was hands-on, and I wasn’t overwhelmed with book work. I am a full-time parent, and the school schedule still made it possible to do things with my children. The instructors were great. They had, and continue to have, faith in my abilities.

NCST has given me an opportunity not only to learn a trade, but also to share my knowledge. I was offered a position with the school as soon as I graduated. I started out as a Weld Lab Assistant working with high school students on Fridays, and worked my way up to having my own class of adult learners.  Because of this, I am still able to do what I love, and I am able to pass along my skills to others.

Outside of work, I spend a lot of time with family and friends. We get together for game nights and enjoy many outdoor activities.

As a woman in this industry, I know it can be intimidating to think about getting into the trades, but NCST East Liverpool has a welcoming feeling and supportive atmosphere. If anyone is unsure if the trades are for them, they can schedule some time to job shadow with us and see if we would be a fit for them.

Nicole Rockwell, New Castle School of Trades East Liverpool Graduate