After nine years of working a minimum-wage, fast food job, Sam McCart was looking for a new career. McCart tried her hand at welding and discovered she had a natural talent. Self-taught in the basics, she knew she needed to learn the science and art of welding if she wanted to make it her career. She returned to school at Forsyth Tech and met Dr. Jackie Woods, the department chair of welding technology. “This is the joy of teaching,” Dr. Woods said in regards to McCart and her husband, John Belk, who soon followed in his wife’s footsteps. “We all have to make a final assessment in life, and I think when we make that assessment, the question is, ‘Did I make life better for someone?’” McCart earned her Associate in Applied Science in Welding Technologies in May 2018. She now works as a welding technician at Deere-Hitachi. Her new job allowed husband Belk—who was also hired by Deere-Hitachi—to attend Forsyth Tech to become a certified welding inspector. Belk expressed gratitude for the connections and experience he and his wife gained during their time at Forsyth Tech. “I truly felt lucky having met a staff of experienced educators in a program that went from explaining the basics to helping us compete in the job field and succeed,” Belk said. The couple’s new jobs have helped them enjoy more security and no longer live from paycheck to paycheck. “It’s like we’re real adults now,” McCart said. Laughing, Belk responded, “It’s only taken us 30 years.”
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