Keni Read graduated from Avon Central Schools in 2020 after completing the two-year Welding Program at the Mount Morris Career and Technical Education (CTE) Center. Keni attended the Mount Morris CTE Center during her junior and senior years in high school.
Keni knew her freshman year in high school that she wanted to attend BOCES for the CTE program. At first, she didn’t know if she wanted to study Welding or Building Trades. During her sophomore year at Avon, she toured the Welding and Building Trades program. She knew during the visit that the Welding Program was the right fit for her.
Keni has always enjoyed working with her hands and wanted to build things that matter. Her favorite project during class was when she had an opportunity to work on the Poppy Field that was created for the Livingston County Veterans Monument. The Welding students, veterans, and volunteers created 250 metal poppies for the monument. “This work was very important and the poppies will be around forever for people to admire and remember all of our brave veterans,” stated Keni.
The main reason she chose Welding was she knew she could make a career out of it. She started a co-op with SPX Flow during her senior year. Her co-op began in February 2020, and when she graduated in June 2020 she had a full-time job with SPX Flow.
SPX Flow is a local company based in Scottsville, NY. At SPX Flow, the company makes mixers for pharmaceuticals as well as the food and beverage industry. This company was responsible for creating the mixer for the Pfizer Vaccine. Keni is achieving her goal of making things that matter.
Keni knew going into welding the field is primarily men. She wanted to prove that women can do anything men can do and advised any woman interested in the field not to be scared. She is currently the only woman at her shop, but that has never been a challenge for her. “There are endless possibilities in welding, and I encourage more women to go for it,” exclaimed Keni.
Keni says she has fond memories of her teachers who taught her to work hard and put herself out there. Her advice for current or prospective students is, “take in all the information from your teachers and get your hands dirty by jumping right in,” said Keni.