Southwest Tech Spotlight: Blake Welu
As a kid, Blake wanted to be a firefighter. Since the fire departments in southwest Wisconsin are volunteer, he began exploring careers that can be done outdoors.
“I like hands-on work and doing something different every day. High school tech ed classes helped me realize that carpentry would be a good fit for me.”
Blake was a strong athlete for the Iowa Grant Panthers participating in wrestling, football, and baseball. In March of 2012, Blake won the Division 3 State Championship in the 182 lb. weight class.
“I worked hard for that win. It was a great feeling.”
Blake continued his wrestling career at the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater.
“I knew some people at Whitewater and thought I would give college wrestling a try. It was really tough and very time consuming.”
He decided to major in Business, something that Whitewater is well-known for.
“Whitewater is a big business school. I thought it would be good to have a business background. I was there for two years and I just didn’t like what I was going for. I needed a change.”
Blake moved back home and enrolled at Southwest Tech.
“I knew that I had wanted to take the Building Trades – Carpentry program and Southwest Tech had it.”
Blake completed the program in less than a year and had a job before he graduated.
“We took a class trip to a house that Traditional Carpentry was working on. At the time, I was actually working for another company that was doing the masonry at the same house. They offered me a job and I took it.”
Blake still sees business in his future at some point.
“Maybe I’ll start my own construction business at some point and go from there.”