#WhyWeWeld: Western Welding Academy
Tyler Sasse who is from Wyoming, the founder of the Western Welding Academy, started welding when he was 18 years old back in 2006.
He’s always liked to work with his hands. Classic schooling was never a road he traveled well and once given the opportunity to have a trade and one that he found interesting and ever changing he was hooked.
He loves the challenge of new situations, and “Welding is a specialized trade and the more you weld and become specialized in different areas, the more opportunities will become available to you. That's one of my favorite parts!”
Q: What is the biggest project you’ve worked on?
A: I have two large projects that I have worked on. The first largest project I've worked on was at a computer chip manufacturing plant on the west coast, welding large diameter pipe.
There were over 5000 construction workers on the job. This project stands out in my memory because of the work we did lead to computer chips being more readily available allowing for an advancement of mankind. The second is the Creation of Western Welding Academy.
We have created a real life scenario based welding curriculum that we designed and have put to work in order to create our next workforce of welders, but not just any welder, a highly qualified, well mannered employee that is ready to hit the ground running from day one.
Q: Why did you choose to become an instructor?
A: While I love welding, I also love assisting the next generation of welders to obtain valuable work and life skills and certifications. This way I get to do both! It is important when we obtain good skills to pass those along to the younger generations.
In today's world we severely lack those concepts that used to be so common. I hope to reinvigorate that practice. Also, we need people who've made it in the industry teaching these welders so they get an idea of real life scenarios, not just reading a book and showing up having never actually welded.
Q: What is the biggest challenge in working as a welding instructor?
A: Students will always ask you a question that you've never quite thought of before, or word it in a way that you really have to think about your answer. The biggest challenge is how to formulate your answer to those questions in a way that they can understand the message completely.
Add that to an ever changing environment and new laws being passed every year and keeping our curriculum always up to date to exceed industry standards keeps us all very busy.
Q: Why is it important to keep going in spite of challenges along the way?
A: Our nation is seriously lacking in skilled labor. We, as a nation, have created a stigma to the trade industries, and we need to rectify it! More kids are being sent to traditional schooling because it will create a "better future".
Working hard and with your hands is not a bad future, and should be something to be proud of. I hope to rectify this stigma and assist our nation in getting our unemployed workforce and new workforce to work with a trade that provides lots of great pay and benefits.
Q: From a technical aspect, what is the toughest concept to teach?
A: In order to be a dynamite pipe welder, one must be fluid in their body positioning. Teaching proper body positioning is by far the most challenging concept to teach.
Q: What advice do you regularly give to your students who find a particular weld or job difficult to complete?
A: If it was easy, everyone would do it! Sometimes the hardest things to accomplish are the most satisfying to complete. Better to work on our weaknesses here so when we are in the real world in a new career we will have mastered those difficult tasks.
Feel free to add anything else about yourself or your experience that may be relevant!
The most successful people in this new world are those of the blue collar trades. If you want to drive a tough truck, you drive a Ford. If you want to be the best welder, you attend Western Welding Academy @WesternWeldingAcademy.