This CNM Student is the Future of Welding

Esperanza Montoya is set to graduate in May with a Welding degree and is excited about using her training to build the future
March 28, 2023

Esperanza Montoya came to welding by accident. Back during her sophomore year at Valencia High School in Los Lunas she missed the day when students got to choose their electives so the school placed her in a welding class without her knowing.

No one in her family had welding experience and she barely knew what it was when she first entered class. But after a few weeks, Esperanza quickly realized how lucky she was to have stumbled on to this trade. Christopher Martinez, who’s currently a welding instructor at CNM, was also the welding instructor at her high school then and immediately showed her how welding could be an exciting and productive career.

“I realized that with welding I could be involved in anything from jewelry making to building fabrication, and that was motivating” she says. 

Fast forward to today and Esperanza is set to graduate from CNM with a Welding degree in a little over a month. In two weeks she’ll also put her welding skills to the test as part of the SkillsUSA New Mexico State Leadership & Skills Conference where she’ll participate in the Welding Fabrication competition.

At CNM, Esperanza says she felt fortunate to get a well-rounded degree that not only grew her passion for welding, but also helped her learn additional skills including blueprint reading and CNC work.

“CNM definitely has a really well thought-out program that prepared me in multiple ways to succeed,” Esperanza says.

Like many CNM Welding students, that success is going to come quickly for Esperanza because she’s already been hired as a welder at a local business and will start full-time once she graduates. 

“It was a little scary to get a job immediately, but to be honest, CNM and the instructors prepared me so well that as soon as I walked into the workplace there wasn’t anything I didn’t know or hadn’t been exposed to,” she says. 

As a woman in welding, which is often a male-dominated trade, Esperanza says she’s not intimidated in the least. In fact, she looks forward to showing the local community that women can be leaders and innovators in this field.

“To be honest, it’s an ego boost to be a woman in welding because I get the opportunity to show how I and other women can use our skills to move welding forward,” she says. “And just like anyone, I love being able to build and innovate.”