Read how Mia Share facilitated Landon W. in his application process for Western Welding Academy and created the opportunity for a more prosperous welding career.
WHAT WAS YOUR BACKGROUND BEFORE ATTENDING TRADE SCHOOL?
I was into house projects and fixing farm equipment when I was younger, and somewhere along the way, I was guided toward welding. I was welding and had been for about a year before Western Welding. I just wasn’t advanced yet and couldn’t get the better-paying gigs. Back then, I used to work in shops making $17-$18 an hour. But I was looking to advance in the industry, and in the field, you can get a lot of advice from the veterans.
WHAT WAS YOUR CATALYST TO ENROLL IN WESTERN WELDING?
Learning from those in the industry, they always recommended I get advanced certifications, and I noticed there were many opportunities I couldn’t take because of my skill set. I knew I wanted to weld. I just didn’t know which route I wanted to take. It wasn’t until I was in the academy, seeing everything firsthand and getting more information about the courses, that I decided to join.
HOW DID MIA SHARE FACILITATE THE APPLICATION PROCESS?
It helped me out a lot. I was coming straight out of high school, I didn’t have a whole lot of money saved up or anything like that. It helped me decide to apply overall. It was such a quick process too. I think I got accepted the same day I applied. I remember being so relieved I heard back quickly.
“If it weren’t for Mia Share, I wouldn’t be where I am today in my career and life. I’m from Mississippi. I didn’t have the means to get out there [Wyoming] and pay for that out of pocket. If it weren’t for Mia Share, I don’t believe I would have taken the chance at trade school.”
HOW HAS YOUR CAREER PROGRESSED SINCE GRADUATING?
Well, like I said, I was making around $7,500 a year. Sure, I was in high school, but there were some restaurants in town that paid more than that. Now, depending on the project, scale, and skillset, I now make anywhere from $30-$50 an hour. I work on bigger projects in water refineries and power plants, things like that. It’s honestly been great. I get to work on new projects and environments. I love my job a little bit more every day.
DO YOU HAVE ADVICE FOR THOSE THINKING OF ENROLLING IN TRADE SCHOOL?
Definitely, I would say you have to take chances. Opportunity is not just going to come to you. You have to get out there and take what you want. You have to get out there and just do it for yourself.