Never too late for big changes

alumnus jim west

Before returning to his home state of Minnesota, Jim was an auto detailing business owner, living in Florida for 20 years. Then, he started to reconsider his life.

“I wanted more time with my children and I wanted to raise them in Minnesota where I was raised,” Jim said. With that goal in mind, he sold his business, packed up his family and headed back to Minnesota.

A few years later, Jim was talking to a neighbor about welding, something he had been interested in since his youth. The neighbor mentioned he had attended a great welding program at Anoka Tech and Jim jumped at the chance for this major career change in 2016.

“The program was amazing, and Lisa Glendower was a great instructor,” Jim noted, reflecting on his certificate program from the college. “I ate up the teaching in the basic welding certificate. Everyone was so helpful. They made it easy for me—challenging and easy.”

When he graduated, he immediately landed a job at Caterpillar as a welder, and now is also trained to be a welder/machinist.

“I had a great experience at Anoka Tech,” Jim concluded. “Even though it was a challenge to watch my sons and go to school at the same time, the evening classes made it easier.”

Jim recently returned to Anoka Tech to help recruit new employees for his current employer, Caterpillar and was proud to share his success.

Learn more about the welding or one of Anoka Tech's 70+ programs today.

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