Jack came to us after his (honors) graduation from Hampton High School, where his passion to pursue a career in welding was ignited by teacher, James Keleman. It was through the newly created, government and industry-funded, welding shop and the first-ever Metal Processing Class at Hampton High that Jack got started on his road to Ready Arc. During that time, Jack was one of 8 students from his class to successfully test and receive CWB welder qualifications through Ready Arc’s newest partnership with area high schools. Inspired by this success, Jack’s teacher pushed him to apply for the CWB Joseph G. Doria Exemplary Student Award – and the grant that goes with it. Jack was the only Canadian student, and the first-ever Ready Arc student, to be chosen for this honour. We spoke to Jack on graduation day about his experience with us…
What were you up to before coming here?
After graduating high school in June, I worked at my summer job at Easy Kleen, an opportunity I got because of my high school welding class. It let me get some experience before I came here in September. My teacher also helped me apply for the CWB scholarship, which I ended up getting. That made my decision to come here even easier.
What made you choose Ready Arc over other welding programs?
Steve’s visit to our class to talk to us about welding and career opportunities, along with my teacher telling me that this was the better program out there helped make my decision. The fact that it’s a shorter program with the ability to earn more tickets than other courses, plus the student success rates from past classes, made it a pretty easy decision.
So, how was your six months with us?
I love the teachers, I learned so much in the shop. We started with the basics, and once it got more challenging, I felt motivated to work at getting better and better. The instructors told us at the beginning that they weren’t going to babysit us to get our work done, but they were there to help every step of the way. It was our responsibility to get in that booth and work hard – you need the work ethic to get it done. I think that really prepared us to go into a job later and not be lazy or expect to be babysat.
You made it…to today – graduation day. What’s next?
I definitely want to be an industrial welder, ideally a pipe welder. I’m looking to get into an apprenticeship. I’m so pleased with how my experience at Ready Arc prepared me for the next steps in my life. It actually wasn’t at all what I expected, being so welcoming, and it’s clear that they want you to succeed. And I definitely learned a lot of life lessons for the future.