Photo: Journey Bortzfield

Blue Collar Tour Encourages Career Options

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Young welders at the Career Technical Center (CTC) recently received an amazing opportunity to learn a new weld, to compete for prizes, and to meet professional welders.

It’s very rare that big companies or academies visit our CTC, but when they do it’s an opportunity of a lifetime for those students to get more knowledge and even some job opportunities.

The Blue Collar Tour is a tour that the Western Welding Academy started in early January. The group has traveled all around the country to give students the opportunity to learn a new weld, receive new welding materials and Western Welding Academy merchandise.

“This tour was created and put into action to give opportunities to learn new things for our upcoming welders,” spokesperson Quacy Wilson said. ”I hope this experience will push students to make welding a long term career. I also hope they will forever remember this opportunity.”

The day began at 9:30 a.m. with introductions from the speakers. They explained expectations for the day. The instructor, Nolan Brunn, went step by step and made certain to describe how to do the weld, along with the safety precautions.

“I’ve been welding for a pretty long time,” Brunn stated. ”The one thing I can tell these kids is to be extra careful, don’t burn yourself and especially watch how much gas you use because you can accidentally blow up.”

Welding teachers Christian Mendez and Christopher Gonzalez were very excited for the students. Mendez expressed his gratitude by stating, “I appreciate everything the CTC gives these students to prepare themselves for the real workforce and expose them to Academies such as Western Welding.”

At various times of the day Wilson allowed students to spin a wheel with all the participants’ names. On each column was an opportunity to win a free prize. The winner had the chance to pick between a face cover, a gator, or a flag with the W.W.A logo as well as earn a W.W.A t-shirt. Two lucky winners got something a little more special, one was able to get a Dewalt Grinder and the other was able to get a Dewalt Tool Bag.

The day was an overall success for everyone, Elijah Tillman was especially thankful stating, “I am thankful to get the opportunity to meet everyone and learn a new weld for myself. Everyone was awesome and I really am taking welding seriously and plan on making this as my future career.”

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