Meet Our Graduates – Mike Leamons – Adult Ed Welding Tech

December 7, 2020
Posted in: Uncategorized
Many Adult Education programs at the Lancaster County Career & Technology Center start in the fall for full-year courses; however, there are times when starting in the fall doesn’t work for every student. For those individuals, the LCCTC offers winter start dates for two Adult Education programs, Welding and Automotive Technology. These courses cover the same skills and techniques as the programs that start in the fall.
As part of the run up to our January program starts, we offer a pair of student profiles. Last week, we met Kayla Wollman, a former Adult Ed Automotive Technology student. Today, allow us to introduce Mike Leamons, a recent Welding Technology student. These program graduates explain how they got into their fields and give us a sense of how the LCCTC prepared them for their new careers.
Close out 2020 by training for a new future! Applications are being taken now!

Click here to explore the Adult Education program offerings at the Lancaster County Career & Technology Center.

Meet Mike Leamons, LCCTC Adult Ed Welding Tech Graduate

Mike Leamons had always worked in retail.   He was good at it but had admitted to himself that he was unsatisfied.  Facing a future in retail didn’t appeal and he was looking around at options.  He found information online about the Adult Education Welding program at the Lancaster County Career & Technology Center and started to consider following a brand-new career path.

Mike had recently gotten married and he recognized that if he wanted to make a change professionally, the start of his new life with his wife would be a good time to do it.

“I had been in retail management for a couple of years, but after I got married I thought that it was time to think about my future, my wife’s future, and a family and really didn’t see that future including retail work,” Mike explained.

He said that some investigation led him to the 10-week Basic Welding program at the LCCTC.  Additionally, he found information on the Workforce Development tuition grant program offered through the Lancaster County Career & Technology Foundation.  The Basic Welding program offered participants a solid foundation of skills to move into a welding job and Mike also qualified for the grant that paid his tuition.  Both programs together offered Mike an opportunity to see if a career in manufacturing was a viable path forward.

Mike said that he really enjoyed the Basic Welding program and started to recognize that he really could make a change and follow a career in welding.  He enjoyed working with his hands, building and creating something.  He said that he was able to point to some finished work and was able to say, “I did that.  I made that.”  Following the Basic Welding program, he got a job at High Steel in Lancaster.

“I worked through the new employee program at High Steel and got my certifications but I was already seeing areas that I could improve.  I thought that I had more that I could do.  I wanted to capitalize on what I had going already and learn more and push the skills,” he said.

Mike turned again to the LCCTC to see how their programs could move him forward in his career.  He ultimately decided to enroll in the full-year Welding Technology program at the Mount Joy campus.  That started a period in Mike’s life where he was immersed in welding.  He worked at High Steel and took classes during the off shift, spending nearly 15 hours each day either welding, studying welding, or doing welding-related activities.

“I spent a year doing this and thanks to focusing on school and focusing on work, I learned an immense amount and it really helped me advance,” Mike said.

Mike said that the training that he received at the LCCTC led to a professional confidence and work ethic that became noticed at work.  He said that he has moved from basic welding into work as a utility operator where he is operating overhead cranes and CNC drills very much beyond what he had been trained for originally.

“Learning new techniques and gaining new certifications led to a professional momentum that kept pushing me beyond my comfort zone,” he said.

Mike’s professional goals now lie along an utterly new path in a job that is in high demand all over the world.  He is now considering getting his certified welding inspector certificate and moving into quality control.

“There is so much that is possible now and all that comes from what I learned at the Lancaster County CTC.”

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