Success Stories

Kyle, Class of 2015

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Kyle Knew He Wanted to be a Welder, and Workshops for Warriors Helped Him Become More Competitive in the Industry

Not unlike many Veterans at Workshops for Warriors, Kyle loved his time in the military and felt a sense a purpose as soon as he enlisted. He didn’t think too much about what it would be like after transitioning because he was focused on his time in the Navy, which is where he ultimately discovered welding.

“Before my military service, I was just trying to figure life out and keep my head above water. During my service, I was able to find something that I loved to do and the future was very optimistic. Before the military, I struggled I jumped from job to job, and in total honesty, the military really helped me mature a lot and figure out what I really wanted to do. As far as what life would be like after the transition I just kind of imagined it would be the same as before. I was 22 when I joined so I kind of knew what to expect.”

Things got more stressful thinking about transitioning out of the Navy because he was married with his first child on the way. Fortunately for Kyle, he found Workshops for Warriors almost immediately and enrolled while he was still active duty.

“The transition back into civilian life was very stressful for me. I was coming home to an expecting wife and was trying to find a job. I really didn’t know how things were going to go, but Workshop for Warriors they helped me to be a little more competitive in the workforce by helping me obtain an AWS qualification.”

Kyle explained that he was already a welder in the Navy where he had to learn Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (TIG) processes as opposed to what he already knew, Shielded Metal Arc Welding (Stick) welding. This is where he met our Dean of Welding, Lyle Palm. Lyle told Kyle about Workshops for Warriors and suggested he attend to also get a Gas Metal Arc Welding (MIG) certification, which is what drew Kyle to San Diego.

“I went to Workshops for Warriors to get a MIG a certification because when I started looking at jobs I notice the demand for MIG welders was a lot higher than the demand for what I already knew; Stick and TIG welding.”

After graduating in the Fall of 2015 from Workshops for Warriors, Kyle accepted a job offer in March 2016 at Rogue Fitness Ohio as a MIG welder in the fabrication facility. He said that after his time at Workshops for Warriors he didn’t have a difficult time finding a career in welding because the industry and the trade are currently in such high demand.

“Mr. Palm, the Dean of Welding, helped me with my résumé and I put it online and I was receiving emails and phone calls by interested employers within a week.” He added, “Workshops for Warriors gave me a sense of hope and confidence because I knew that they all had your back. Anything you needed they would help set you up for success. Résumé building, job fairs […]. It really alleviated a lot of my stress about transitioning. I just want to say thank you to Workshop for Warriors and all my mentors for being involved and making sure I was set up for success starting over again.”

Kyle admits that leaving the military felt like starting over, so being able to find a school where training was free helped set him up for success for himself as well as for his family financially now and in the future.

“A lot of people don’t realize that the certificates they help you obtain can cost thousands of dollars and it is completely free for Veterans and active duty service members, so you can use your GI Bill® towards something else if you wanted. If it wasn’t for the program and the people at Workshops I don’t think I would have had as much success getting set up in a career.”

“Right now I’m just focusing on my new job, my family, and working towards buying a house in the next year. But the future looks very bright.”

Kyle has received the following Nationally recognized credentials:

  • Gas Metal Arc Welding Basic Vertical (GMAWB)
  • Gas Metal Arc Welding Basic Overhead (GMAWB)

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).