Skip to main content

A Path to Success

As you walk down the halls of the Peoria Campus, you will see the eager smiles of students hungry for knowledge. Yet, a glance does not reveal the whole story. Many of these students that you pass and greet in the hallway, their careers are already in full swing.

Close to twenty Welding students from Peoria Campus have wasted no time in their job hunt. They are all already working for Valmont Industries, an Omaha-based company with a large presence in Tulsa. In need of skilled welders to craft their products, the company turned to Tulsa Tech.

Jared Dewitt, Welding Instructor, explained, "They approached us with a demand for welders, and we had about 20 students who were ready to roll up their sleeves. Valmont took them all under their wing, working in tandem with us to ensure they could continue their training."

Moving from the classroom to the real world has brought its own set of adjustments.

"I enjoy the ability to work and then return here to connect with the friends I've made,” Jessica Rodriguez said. “Last night, I worked from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m., so I managed to get a little sleep. Tulsa Tech is accommodating, allowing us to balance our work commitments with our training."

While many students still have another year of training ahead, they all share the joy of getting paid.

"Getting a job after the first year felt pretty darn good,” Cory Brown said with a smile. “Once I landed the job, all my family wanted to know was how much I was making, and I can say I make more than most."

“It is pretty crazy to get such a good job with so much school left,” fellow Valmont Welder Nathan Chastain added.

A recent report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows welders in the Tulsa area make more than the national average, around $50,000 a year.

Beyond the training, Rodriguez sees great value in all the familiar faces in the hallways.

"Spotting fellow Tech students encourages me to strike up conversations," Rodriguez said reflected. "I walked in here knowing nothing about welding. The instructors have created an environment where I'm not afraid to seek answers. Now, at work, I'm always firing away with questions, all in pursuit of getting things right."

Each student credited their instructors with helping them get there, but for Dewitt and his co-teacher Seth Hix, it is not about them.

“We can teach all the students the same tools to be successful. They are the ones that have to put in the work,” Dewitt said.

Are you ready to spark a new career? Make Your Own Path and train for your dream job. With more than 80 career training options, Tulsa Tech has your perfect fit.