(ABILENE, Texas) – The welding quality displayed by Christopher Cumpton impressed one of his instructors so much that it led to a job opportunity.
Cumpton, a candidate for graduation this month with a certificate of completion in Structural Welding from Texas State Technical College, has a career planned with Broadwind Heavy Fabrications in Abilene. That career was made possible by Luther Dorman, an adjunct Welding Technology instructor at TSTC and an employee at Broadwind.
“Christopher is always willing to learn more, and he has the qualities of a welder we look for at Broadwind,” Dorman said. “He is going to be able to build on what we have taught him at TSTC and expand it with the company.”
Cumpton, of Anson, did not expect to find a job before he graduated from TSTC.
“I dug down and worked hard during my time in school. Broadwind offered me a job, and I am really excited about that,” he said.
Cumpton plans to learn as much as he can from the Broadwind welders, with a goal of moving up within the company. While he does that, Cumpton wants to continue building his relationship with Dorman.
“Luther makes me excited to learn more. I cannot wait until I am working for him so we can continue our student-teacher relationship,” he said.
Dorman said being an adjunct instructor helps him at work. Broadwind has been a longtime TSTC industry partner.
“We plan to continue our partnership with TSTC because this is where people come to learn to weld,” he said. “Christopher is a perfect example of what we are looking for in a student and an employee.”
Welding is something that Cumpton grew up around. But after two years in the U.S. Army, he did not know what he planned to do as a career. That is when he turned to TSTC.
“I did some welding events in FFA,” he said. “It was a way for me to express myself. I knew TSTC had the welding program. And since it included a money-back guarantee, I knew finding a job would be easy. I talked to the instructors, and they told me everyone who completes this program finds work.”
Cumpton said earning a certificate would boost his job options.
“I do not think the opportunities would have been there for me if I did not go to school,” he said. “TSTC gives you many job opportunities that you probably would not have.”
Cumpton said TSTC also has taught him different welding techniques that he would not have learned on his own.
“One of the more difficult things I have learned is pipe welding,” he said. “It took me some time, but it felt good to learn it. I had a sense of accomplishment when I completed that part of the program.”
Cumpton plans to use all of his skills after graduation, which is scheduled for April 27, to the projects at Broadwind.
“I am looking forward to beginning my career,” he said. “I will be working on a lot of wind turbines and will be close to home.”
According to onetonline.org, welders can earn a yearly median salary of more than $47,000 in Texas. Welding jobs were expected to increase 23% between 2020 and 2030 in the state, according to the website.
TSTC offers Welding Technology at each of its 10 campuses located throughout Texas. Welding Technology is one of nine programs at TSTC that have money-back guarantees. The college’s commitment to participating students is simple: If they do not have a job in their field within six months of graduation, they will receive a full refund of their tuition. For more information on the Money-Back Guarantee program, visit https://www.tstc.edu/admissions/tuition/.
For more information about TSTC, visit tstc.edu.