Osvaldo Gonzalez

Two years ago was the first time I stepped foot in the shop, that was also the first time I met Mr. Watkins. Initially I thought Intro to Welding was going to be another class I take just to pass and get credit for, but everything changed the first day I welded a bead. It was so interesting and mind blowing to me because I’ve never welded before. Sure enough it was an okay bead, and what Mr. Watkins said about my bead gave me the best feeling of accomplishment.

I finished Intro to Welding and I was feeling great about it, so I got into Advanced Welding because I thought I was talented. In the Intro to Welding class Mr. Watkins teaches u hands on, the basics to welding. In Advance Welding he really pushes us to do more difficult welds; these welds separate skilled from the quitters. I was keeping my rod to the metal and practiced everyday, trying to be better than all the other welders.

Then Mr. Watkins pulled me into the office to speak to me about a huge opportunity at the college of TVCC; by this time I knew I loved welding and I wouldn’t mind welding for a career. He told me that the program was going to be pretty hard, but I knew this program was for me. He gave me the sign up paper, telling me this was a first come first serve sign up and I jumped on it. I turned my paper in early in the morning to make sure I was in.

This pilot program is my shot to do what I love and get paid for doing it. I practice hard and study hard, because one day I know I’m going to be a $180 per hour welder. I’m extremely grateful Mr. Watkins gave me this opportunity to be great and do great things; I won’t let anything or anyone stop me from reaching this goal of mine.