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Compton College welding instructor named ‘Teacher of the Year’

Richardson earned her master’s from National University, and bachelor’s from the Univ. of Phoenix

Pamela Richardson recognized as Teacher of the Year by the American Welding Society; a welder since 1992, currently a full-time Compton College welding instructor

Compton Herald | Pamela Richardson

Welding instructor Pamela Richardson. Photo source: Compton

COMPTON — A Compton College welding instructor has been honored with the highest accolade attainable by the American Welding Society.

Pamela Richardson was recently recognized as Teacher of the Year by the American Welding Society, a distinction worldwide in scope, as the organization serves more than 73,000 members globally, comprised of 22 districts with 250 sections and student chapters.

To add luster to the honor, Richardson earned the distinction helping students achieve their academic goals.

“I find that it is most rewarding when some of my students who did not think they could attend and survive college, let alone attain a degree, actually complete these dreams and become employed in high-paying jobs,” said Richardson, a welder since 1992.

Richardson took an interest in welding after a mechanic took advantage of her lack of knowledge in automotive repair. Initially, she enrolled in automotive repair classes then followed up with welding classes, ultimately becoming a certified welder in 1994.

Richardson has been a professional welder 26 years, steadily climbing the ranks in the field over the course of a quarter century. A member of Local 108 Sheet Metal Workers Union, she has applied her education and training in a host of demanding jobs including the Red Line of the Los Angeles Metro Rail, and the headquarters of the eminent architect Thom Mayne, proprietor of the design firm Morphosis.

During her climb to master welder status, Richardson also dedicated time to teaching. She taught for 11 years at various levels within the Los Angeles Unified School District, including La Mirada High School.

“I became the first female African American woman in history to teach full time for that school district,” said Richardson, who offered salient advice to young women seeking a career in welding, a field historically dominated by men.

“Stick with it and don’t let the guys discourage you,” she said. “Make sure you attain a degree so you can expand your trade.”

Richardson earned a master’s degree in educational leadership from National University and a bachelor’s degree in business management from the University of Phoenix.

In the teaching arena in the years 2008-2013, she plied her welding gifts as an adjunct professor of welding at both El Camino College Compton Center and Rio Hondo College and was a welding instructor at the Huntington Park-Bell Community Adult School.

Currently a full-time welding instructor at Compton College, Richardson joined the Career and Technical Education division at the college in 2014.

Richardson is a member of the American Business Women’s Association, American Welding Society SENSE Program, and the American Association of University Women.

The Compton College Career and Technical Education division offers 16 different job training programs, including associate degree and certificate programs in welding.

For more information, visit the Compton College website or call (310) 900-1600, ext. 2780. Apply for summer and fall 2018 at Compton College HERE. Summer sessions begin June 18 and the fall 2018 semester begins Aug. 25.

Compton Herald is a digital news publication providing clear, fair and current news, information and commentary about Compton, the Los Angeles metropolitan area, Los Angeles County, California, and the world.


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