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Former Blinn College welding student transitions into successful career with Valmont Industries

‘Blinn is a good college with phenomenal instructors, and they helped me get a job at Valmont,’ says Patrick Miles

April 27, 2018

Jeff Weesner and Patrick Miles

Jeff Weesner (left) and Patrick Miles (right)


 

For Patrick Miles, his road to becoming a fitter welder at Valmont Industries, Inc., in Brenham came through the workforce courses offered at the Blinn College A.W. Hodde, Jr. Technical Education Center.

After making the decision to change career paths in his thirties, Miles, a husband and father, enrolled in the Welding Technology Certificate Program to take courses while keeping his full-time job.

“I chose Blinn because I could still spend time with my family and it was financially reasonable,” Miles said. “All of the courses taught me the dynamics of welding and allowed me to achieve my goals by teaching me to be a professional welder.”

Miles completed six courses in the Welding Technology – Certificate Level I program while maintaining his job at Brenham State School.

“The Blinn Welding Program provides the skill sets and knowledge, while Mr. John McGee, the instructor, provides leadership, knowledge from business and industry, high standards, and the mentorship needed for participants in the program,” said David Yeager, Hodde Center Director. “Patrick brought a great work ethic, positive energy, willingness to work with others, willingness to learn, a vision of his future as a welder, and a passion to be successful. Patrick’s attributes are the reason for his success.”

Miles completed the program while taking approximately two night courses each semester.

“It was a blessing for me that Blinn offered night classes because I could have a full-time job and still pursue my dream of being a welder,” Miles said.

McGee, who also teaches Valmont’s in-house training, ensures that all students have equal opportunity by offering a range of courses during the day and night.

“You can take them at your own pace, and we offer as many classes as we can in the evenings for those working during the day,” McGee said. “We facilitate opportunities for our students to make a career change without having to quit their day job, so there are always classes available for them to get where they want to go in life.”

McGee goes the extra mile for all of his students, including Miles. It was McGee who invited Valmont Production Supervisor Jeff Weesner to the Hodde Center to see Miles in action.

“When you see somebody with a lot of heart and drive like he had, you want to help push them to where they are going,” McGee said. “Since I do in-house training for Valmont, I have its equipment at the campus year-round. If I find students who think it is easy like Patrick did, I contact Valmont.”

Said Weesner, “It is nice that Blinn is two miles from here so that I can get in the car at any time and drive down and watch some trainees. Patrick has been a good employee. His training from Blinn has minimized the training we had to do on the floor.”

Upon completing Blinn’s welding program in August 2017, Patrick was certified through the American Welding Society and working as a full-time for Valmont by the end of the year.

“Blinn is a good college with phenomenal instructors, and they helped me get hired at Valmont,” Miles said. “Mr. McGee reached out to his contacts to help me get the job, and now I am living my dream.”

Welding courses at Blinn College include Introduction to Blueprint Reading for Welders, Quality Control and Testing Control, Advanced Gas Metal Arc Welding, Introduction to Oxy-Fuel Welding and Cutting, entry level and advanced TIG and SMAW (stick) Welding, along with specialty welding courses. College credit programs build upon each other and include a Certificate I, Certificate II, and an Associate of Applied Science degree in Welding Technologies. 

Welding professionals use hand-held welding and flame-cutting equipment to weld or join metal components or to fill holes, indentations, or seams of fabricated metal products.  Through formal education, training and experience, welders gain knowledge and expertise in multiple processes, preparing them for careers as welders, welding fabricators, welding supervisors, pipe welders, welder fitters, maintenance welders, welding inspectors, welding instructors, welding engineers, and metallurgists.  

For more information regarding the Hodde Center and it course offerings, call 979-830-4443 or visit: www.blinn.edu/workforce.

COURSE NAME/NUMBER

BEGIN

END

CONTACT HRS

DAYS

TIMES

COST

WLDG 1091: CHTI Hydrostatic Test Inspection

 5/9

5/10

16

WTh

8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

$1,650

QCTC 1043: CPWI+V Transmission and Distribution

5/14

5/18

32

MTWThF

8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

$1,800

Industrial Skills Boot Camp in Navasota

May 2018

40

MTh

5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

$435

OSHT 1000: Industrial Safety Training – General Industry

5/16

5/18

24

WThF

8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

$900

OSHT 1000: Industrial Safety Training  – General Industry

5/30

5/31

16

MT

8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

$900

NURA 1001: Certified Nurse Aide

5/14

7/24

80

MW

5:00 p.m. –  9:00 p.m.

$700

NURA 1041: CMA Refresher

5/12

5/12

8

Sa

8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

$75

EMSP 1020: CPR/ First Aid – Red Cross

5/18

5/18

8

F

8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

$115

PHRA 2071: Pharmacy Technician

5/28

8/31

8

Online

$1,450

POFI 1024: Computer – Word Processing Applications I 

5/26

5/26

8

Sa

8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. 

$100

BUSG 1005: Introduction to Customer Service

5/16

5/16

7

W

8: a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

$125

BMGT 1012: Fundamentals of Management 

5/29

8/1

40

MW

11:00 a.m. –   1:00 p.m.

$550