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“I actually came to DCCCD as part of a displaced workers’ program. I had been in restaurant management and then took six years off to raise my son, so I was unemployed for a stint.
“Welding is a good trade that’s always going to be in demand. Carpenters, masons and metal workers are trade workers that should be around until the end of time. Welding is a skills set where you can always make a good amount of money, and there will always be a job for you.
“I came into the program thinking I’d get skills to go straight to work, but I’ve also found a passion for my artistic side. I’m actually going to be moving on to a four-year university, to the University of Texas at Arlington for pre-law. I started on an associate degree back in ‘98 with DCCCD.
“I had been out of the workforce for a while, and I was afraid of my first job interview and test, but then I was offered a job right away. However, I decided that I wanted to keep working at my degree full time.
“The main thing to remember is that learning a trade right takes patience. Just like English, math or reading, it takes repetitiveness to learn how to really do something and do it well. Dewayne Roy is such a good teacher, though — he can come up with ideas out of the blue with things so great that you could sell what you make in class. This program teaches you welding and teaches it well.”
Troy West earned a general associate degree in December 2010. He has also completed a Welding certificate and is just a few courses away from finishing an associate degree in Welding.