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Junior seeks to chart her own course in male-dominated industry

Lindsey Tutay smiles at camera - boys weld behind herFor Lindsey Tutay, learning about a job she knew nothing about was an instant draw.

Now, a quarter of the way through her first year at Capital Region BOCES Career and Technical School, the junior from Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk Central School District is setting herself apart as a top-notch welding student.

“She is a great student. She does fabulous work and her welds are clean,” said teacher Don Mattoon.

Tutay entered the program this school year with little knowledge of welding and a simple desire to learn.

“I looked at all of the programs BOCES has to offer and this was something that was different — something I hadn’t tried before,” she said. “There aren’t many women in the field so it interested me and I do have some family in the industry, so I said ‘why not?’”

Indeed, Tutay is the only female in her class on the Albany CTE campus and one of just three in CTE’s welding program this year. In the welding industry, between 3 and 6 percent of all welders are women according to national statistics.

“I am not intimidated by being the only woman in class. We all get along,” Tutay said.

Traditionally, one or two females a year enter the BOCES welding program, which serves between 50 and 60 students. Many go on to college and a career in the industry. Just last month, 2017 welding program graduate Samantha Petrosino of Middleburgh started classes at the National University Polytechnic Institute in San Diego in pursuit of a degree and certification in commercial diving/underwater welding.

As to her own future, Tutay has already welded together some solid plans.

“I want to go to Modern Welding School after I graduate from CTE and enter the industry, probably as a pipefitter.”