Photo of Liisa Pine Schoonmaker.

Liisa Pine Schoonmaker was inducted into the Non-Traditional Careers Category in 2018.

My Story

Liisa Pine Schoonmaker is Chair of the welding department at Laney College in Oakland, and the department’s only female instructor. In more than two decades as a welder, Liisa has found herself to be the only woman on many jobs. This experience has ignited her passion about opening the field of welding to more women. Liisa wants girls and women to realize that training as a welder can lead to stable work, good pay and intellectual challenges. In all, women make up only 3.4% of all welders in the United States. In California, the employment rate for welders is among the highest in the country. Opening the field to more women is important. The pay for a welder in the East Bay can easily double the minimum wage – and sometimes is much more - which can mean economic stability for women and their families.