Southwest Tech Spotlight: Ed Anderson, Welding Instructor
Ed Anderson is bringing the option of night-classes for welding in January
Name? Ed Anderson
Hometown? I’m from Merrill, WI, and now I live in Fennimore.
Northcentral Technical College, Welding – 1997
Weld Test Conductor, State of Wisconsin
American Welding Society Member and Certified Weld Inspector
Tell us a little about yourself:
This January I’ll be the instructor for Southwest Tech’s first evening welding program. I started at Southwest Tech in 2014 after moving to the area with my wife, Janelle, and three children, Brooke, Sage, and Drake. In my spare time, I enjoy the outdoors–fishing and hunting.
What noteworthy experiences led you to become a Welding instructor at Southwest Tech)?
As I was graduating from high school, I had planned to go to a four-year college to study biology. I realized that wasn’t the right fit for me; I wanted to find a career where I was not tied to a desk. I talked to a guidance counselor at a technical school and asked about the shortest degree to get a career. His answer was welding and with my background on the farm, and an interest in welding already—it was an easy choice.
After I finished my degree I had many opportunities that led different jobs all related to welding. The economy fluctuated and I began to get into the quality control area. I was gaining experience at a company where I saw myself working long-term. My day-to-day work started to involve a combination of desk-work, training and evaluating employees. I found I really enjoyed working with welders to help them improve their skills, but my career continued to move in the direction of leadership and desk-work. I wanted to spend more time in the shop. Teaching was the perfect way to spend the most time doing what I enjoy—being in the shop and training people.
What do you wish people knew about this program?
This is the first time we’re offering evening welding, and it’s designed so you can enjoy your day and learn at night. It will go from about 5-10 pm January through December of 2017.
Tell me a little about your experience at Southwest Tech.
Our facility is highly advanced and user-friendly. There’s a comfortable atmosphere and focus on education. The faculty, staff, and students work together creating a family-like atmosphere. It’s amazing to me how many things the school gets involved with outside of the normal day to day routine.
Are there any unique experiences in your program that take the experience at Southwest Tech student beyond just what’s in the classroom?
Students have the opportunity to fabricate useful things according to their interests. A group of former students collaborated to build a custom grill attached to a trailer and another student built a log chute for firewood. The students and I also grill out several times throughout the course, this helps to create lasting friendships. There are several activities including Camp Extreme and Tech Trek that bring in younger students allowing my students to mentor them for the day. Another fun activity that my students enjoy is Welding 101, basically, this is where we invite the public into our welding lab to create garden art type items for their personal use. Students learn a lot and have fun doing it.