PROJECTProfile: Myah H. at Eckhart, Inc.

January 2021

During high school, Myah had welded in the classroom and as a hobby in her free time but never at a job with deadlines, quality standards, and project specifications. As an apprentice at Eckhart, Inc., in Davenport, Iowa, Myah could learn what welding looked like as a career and build confidence in her work.

When she started, Myah was the only woman on the shop floor and the only high school student employed at Eckhart. Undaunted, she approached her apprenticeship as an opportunity to secure her long-term career plans. For the first two months, Myah shadowed other workers to understand how the facility operates and what is expected of welders. She asked her mentor questions to understand the fundamentals of working at Eckhart and gradually took on more responsibility, earning praise for her efficiency and quality work. Myah has now built products for major manufacturers, such as John Deere, and collaborated on complex assignments.

Even though her apprenticeship required a rigorous schedule—school in the morning, work in the afternoon, and community college classes at night—Myah rose beyond the challenge as she also played for the varsity bowling team and worked at a local greenhouse. When Myah graduated in May 2020, she had earned 54 college credits. Next, she will complete her associate degree at Eastern Iowa Community College, where she has been asked to teach welding part time.

Read more about Myah’s apprenticeship experience.

Research Areas Children and youth Economic mobility and inequality
Tags Job training
Policy Centers Center on Labor, Human Services, and Population