Kim Chase – Work Ethic Scholarship Recipient from Hobbyist to Welder
Kim Chase has a Bachelor’s Degree in Watershed Science from Colorado State University. She’s worked as a hydrologist and done environmental engineering and consulting. She’s also run her own business and done some farming, raising pigs and chickens, AND been a stay at home mom! So how did this 35 year-old mother of two wind up at Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology studying… welding?
The truth is it started out as a hobby. Kim was looking for something to do just for herself for a little “me time.” This occurred at the same time she was making plans to get back into the workforce. She knew she didn’t want to go back to hydrology because she hated the idea of sitting behind a desk all day writing reports that very few people would read. Kim started looking for both a job and a hobby simultaneously. While she considered getting trained for a job teaching or in health care, she also was looking for something fun and different for herself.
“On a lark I signed up for a night class in welding,” Kim said, “It was cheaper than yoga and more exciting – even though I had never done anything like it.”
Kim fell in love with welding. The class was only two nights per week but Kim soon discovered that she was thinking about welding every night of the week, “I’d wake up in the middle of the night and be practicing the welds I would be working on in class!”
She heard about the #mikeroweWORKS Work Ethic Scholarship Program when Mike Rowe mentioned it on his #Facebook page. Kim plans to graduate this June, and then she will set her sites on getting American Welding Society certified.
Kim lives in Centre Hall, Pennsylvania with her husband and two children.
Scholarship Recipient Update:
I got an email last week from Kim Chase. She was profiled on this page back in February http
I promised you an update after my American Welding Society tests and I’m a few weeks delinquent, so here goes! I PASSED my AWS certification test!!! I chose to shoot for the moon and do 3G E7018 Unlimited Thickness. Translated: vertical groove stick weld on 1 inch thick metal, which qualifies me for stick welding in all positions except overhead on any thickness of metal.
In a funny but awesome twist of fate, I got a job TIG welding sheet metal with a company called API Technologies, making cases and covers for RF, microwave, and electronic devices for military, space, and commercial applications. It’s actually a much better job than I thought I’d get out of the gate in terms of both pay/benefits and the level of welding I’m doing, and I’m really having a blast with it so far. I’m learning tons and feel like there is so much potential out there for me!
Hope all is well with you and yours! Again, a HUGE thank you to you all at mikeroweWORKS for supporting me on this awesome path!