Ben MacDonald

Ben MacDonald

Ben MacDonald

Ben, what were you up to before coming here?

I was working as a labourer for a landscape company in Hampton doing patios, brick walkways, and lawn sod…all that kind of stuff. That was my summer job, between finishing at Hampton High and coming here. I finished school on Friday and started that next Monday. It kept me busy until I came here.

 Why welding?

I didn’t really know what I wanted to do after high school at first. I saw the course in Grade 11 so I took it and really, really enjoyed it. I stuck with it, took it again the next year in Grade 12 and liked it even more.  I was only introduced to welding through high school, nobody in my family has ever done it before as a career.

What made you choose Ready Arc?

I was looking at Ready Arc and other programs. Once I got talking to people, they said that this is much more competitive, a better course, better training, better instructors…pretty much better in every way. The name carries a lot of weight now, when you go out to the workforce. I had a few friends that had come here already too, last September and even a couple in March.

So, how were your six months with us?

It was slower at first, because we were covering things I wasn’t used to. There were a lot of different techniques that the teachers were trying to show us. But once I got going, and passed the first ticket, it started to go by pretty fast. I was picking up techniques quicker and learning how to do harder things. The instructors, they’re really good. They’re really serious about it. They like doing it. They even know how to have fun with it, too, which makes it actually enjoyable to learn all these new skills.

 You made it to graduation day. What’s next?

I’m thinking about the Pipefitters union. When I was in high school, they had a co-op course that was basically four months of on-the-job training wherever you chose. I went there, and they showed me some of the same things that we learned here at Ready Arc. I got to watch some of the members, all the professionals, and obviously it looked amazing. The training coordinators over there were teaching me, and even a couple of people from the refinery. I learned from all of them and they all had their different ways of doing it, so you could see all the different techniques. It was really interesting so I’m hoping to head back there if I can.