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Gamble to Take Welding Courses Pays off Big

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Michael Yanes

When Mike Yanes was told about a new welding program being offered at his workplace, he thought he might give it a try. His father, a welder, often suggested that Mike should get into the trade. Mike had been working as a mechanic at Titan Cement Company when he met Instructor John Yochum. Mr. Yochum was developing a training/certification program for the employees at Titan to help them qualify for the company's welder's test.

Mike quickly joined and attended each of the weekly weld training sessions and quickly mastered each of the skills and more. When his instructor suggested that he attend the local vocational school, Mike considered his usually heavy (50-hour work week) and thought about adding two more nights to it by attending welding classes. Soon, Mike enrolled in the Applied Welding Systems Program at William H. Turner Adult Education Center. Mike immediately jumped into the textbook, learning print reading and welding symbols. He completed the course and has also completed the minimum skills needed to meet graduation requirements for a certificate in welding from Miami-Dade County Schools.

Mr. Yochum, Mike's instructor, told him about a special opportunity offered only to graduates who complete the welding program. Miami-Dade Community College accepted Mike's welding certification and offered him a year's worth of college credits toward a degree in Industrial Management. Mike was the first student to make this exemplary program.

Mike enrolled in his first course in Electronics during the fall 2002 semester. Very excited, he did not want to overload himself during his first year attending college. "It's tough, trying to learn Ohm's Law" he says, "but I'm not gonna quit." His goals are to obtain a degree and someday work in management at Titan Cement Company. "This is remarkable, that even at an age later in life, you can still accomplish something if you want it bad enough," said Mike's Instructor Mr. Yochum.