#BlueRidgeGrad: Timothy Burkett

#BlueRidgeGrad: Timothy Burkett

By Emily Gill, Marketing & Communications Dept.

When Timothy Burkett’s parents encouraged him to try a welding class at Blue Ridge Community College while he was still in high school, he wasn’t expecting to find a career path. Three years later he is about to begin work as a welder for an aerospace manufacturer.

“Welding is like sculpting. We welders see more than the metal,” Burkett said. “I love having that ability to mold metal into something useful.”

Burkett had high praise for the Blue Ridge welding program from instruction to life lessons.

“The welding program has really impacted my life and how I view the world,” he said. The instructors set real-world expectations. Welding well is great, but you need to show up on time, have a good attitude, be a team player, and put safety first.”

The instructors also help the welding students create a path forward after graduation.

“In the welding program, you have the same teachers and can create a lot of connections,” Burkett said. “The teachers have established a lot of connections across the industry as well which helps in the job search.”

Burkett said utilizing your nearby community college can launch a career. He suggested starting or returning to school, if only to explore career interests.

“It’s worth it to give it a try, take a class to see if that subject may be your thing,” he said. “Blue Ridge is a more affordable option than four-year universities, so it’s a great option for dipping your toes in different things. Trades especially are booming right now, so there’s a lot of opportunity once you are trained.”

Learn more about welding at Blue Ridge at www.blueridge.edu/welding.