A letter from Sawyer K. Anderson, Welding student and recipient of the Tour of Manufacturers Scholarship.
I began welding when I was eleven years old. At that time, I did not have many projects to weld on. Through three years of welding in high school, I was able to make a few projects and fix many things. I cut frame gussets for an ATV and welded them in. I also bought a bike trailer and welded new tail light guards, footsteps, and a wheel cup to hold an ATV in place. I even built a meat smoking cabinet which I designed and built starting with a stainless steel base and all steel walls, I even hooked up the burners and did the finish painting.
I am thankful to be a recipient of the Tour of Manufacturers Scholarship. My parents are not able to help pay for schooling. Currently, I am working at Menards and Park Industries. I learned hard work always pays off from my parents and I am thankful for that too.
When I was in junior high, my father lost his job. He had a construction background, but there were no job available for him during the hardened economy. He earned his Class A CDL license and spent six months over the road throughout the entire country. His loads never brought him close to home, so we only saw him every other month. After six months, he moved to North Dakota to work in the oil fields where he continued to work for four years away from us until we moved there my junior year of high school.
Not having a father around for four years really changed my whole outlook on life. I learned to do many things on my own and I had to learn to adapt and meet new people when we moved. Now looking back, I think the best thing that could have ever happened was my father losing his job because we all changed so much.
Now I am working for Park Industries as a Welder Apprentice. I hope to be hired on full-time once I graduate from the Welding program and have a great career as a welder because I enjoy welding a lot. I am thankful I was able to receive a welding job while still in college.
I continue to work on many projects throughout the year, but the one I enjoyed most was the lawn cacti we engineered and welded. We spent days looking for ideas on how to make them. Then I spent three more weeks cutting and making them stand up. They turned out very well.