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Jordan Kay
Welding Technician


City of Minot
Minot, ND

Category:  Welding Technician
 
High School:  Minot High School
Minot, ND
 
College:  North Dakota State College of Science, Associate Degree in Welding Technology
Wahpeton, ND

I've been in a wheelchair since I was six years old. I first tried welding when I was a kid. I liked the fire and using my hands to make things.

How did you get interested in your career?
I've been in a wheelchair since I was six years old. I first tried welding when I was a kid. I liked the fire and using my hands to make things. I want to do TIG [Tungsten Inert Gas] welding. It's a clean kind of welding that uses a tungsten electrode to heat the metal. it requires a lot of patience and steady hands. I'm pretty good at it.

What kind of training and education did you get?
All through high school I took welding classes. In college I got an associate's degree in welding technology.

Several instructors and students helped me build a wheelchair that raises and lowers so I can reach equipment more easily. It looks like a regular wheelchair, but it's pneumatic. Two cylinders under the seat raise it up and down. There are restrictors so it lowers gently. Two legs push down in front so it doesn't roll.

Students in the machine class made the parts. I welded them with the help of my lab teacher, Joel Johnson. My fabrication teacher, Jay Schimelfenigh, actually designed the chair. We worked out the kinks together.

What advice do you have for young people who are considering this career?
Take as much math as you can in high school. I'm terrible at math but I had to take advanced math in college. I wish I had taken more math classes in high school.

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