BREAKING NEWS Huntsville veterans home employee tests positive for coronavirus Full Story
BREAKING NEWS Florence City Council makes mask wearing mandatory in city buildings Full Story
CLOSINGS: View Closings

Skilled to Work: Local welder uses experience to help students

In his pursuit to gain more experience himself, Heath Ware ended up being a role model for other students.

Posted: Mar 21, 2019 12:53 PM
Updated: Mar 21, 2019 7:29 PM

With the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing drawing closer, 37-year-old Heath Ware spent part of Tuesday reflecting on how a NASA initiative more than 15 years ago led him to his current job as a self-employed welder.

“I cut my teeth on welding with the Great Moonbuggy Race in 2003. We built a moon buggy out of T-6 aluminum and a local industry helped us and taught me how to do it then,” said Ware.

Heath Ware returned to school in order to gain new certifications to help increase his marketability. Heath Ware returned to school in order to gain new certifications to help increase his marketability.

He and a team of high schoolers with the Huntsville Center for Technology snagged the award for best design that year. They competed against 29 teams from 10 states in what is now called the Human Exploration Rover Challenge.

That experience came amid a push from his high school counselor toward the skilled trades that started because Ware was somewhat on the old side for a high schooler.

“I would’ve been a 16-year-old freshman in high school. And they were afraid I would not graduate high school, being that I would be almost 19 graduating. They figured I would turn 18 and leave school,” said Ware.

As it turned out, Ware didn’t leave and in fact, he graduated from Grissom High School with honors before moving onto Wallace State Community College in Cullman County.

After graduating top of his class, he worked at a pharmaceutical company for several years before stepping out and creating Ware Welding just over a year ago.

“I've never been unemployed, unless by choice, as a skilled tradesman. I've always had a job and a high paying job with skilled trades,” said Ware.

Even so, he decided to go back to school, this time at Drake State Community and Technical College in Huntsville. He's working to get new certifications to make himself even more marketable.

“It's less bewildering because I've actually been in the industry, I've seen how it actually works so you know that your instructors are not, they’re actually telling you what it’s actually going to be like in the real world,” said Ware.

Beyond getting his own certifications, Ware told WAAY 31 that one of the benefits of coming back to school for a second time is being able to use his real-world experience to mentor some of the younger students.

“I'm more of a role model with some of the students cause they’ve come to me and want to know what it’s like in the real world, or ‘Hey, I'm about to graduate. I’ve got my first interview with a skilled trades company. What do I expect?’” said Ware.

He added that encouraging others to stick with the trades is key to their endurance and the benefit of everyone.

“Don't let it die out because guys are retiring. There's plenty of jobs out there and you can almost write your own paycheck with the opportunities that are available to you,” said Ware.

In fact, welders are one of the highest in demand jobs in Alabama with 1345 job openings each year on average, according to the Alabama Department of Labor.

“Everything's not run exactly by computers. There are still people who have to get their hands dirty every day and connect the wires, put the rivets in, weld the eye beams and assemble the vehicles,” said Ware.

As for Ware himself, he hopes that after he graduates, he can take his new skills into the industry that inspired him more than a decade ago.

“I would like to get into a subcontract with the aerospace industry. Or I will hopefully go work for an aerospace company and do just as well,” said Ware.

In the meantime, he is using his spring break from Drake State to spend some time with his young son, Connor, and teach him some welding tricks before they both head back to school on Monday.

Huntsville
Broken Clouds
89° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 94°
Florence
Clear
91° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 73°
Feels Like: 100°
Fayetteville
Clear
86° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 92°
Decatur
Broken Clouds
89° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 94°
Scottsboro
Clear
88° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 98°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 45263

Reported Deaths: 1007
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson5410152
Montgomery4158103
Mobile4129134
Tuscaloosa232142
Marshall172410
Madison14917
Lee141137
Shelby133423
Morgan11215
Walker97824
Elmore94314
Franklin89814
Baldwin8949
Dallas8919
Etowah75013
DeKalb7375
Chambers64227
Butler63428
Autauga61012
Tallapoosa60569
Russell5650
Houston5074
Unassigned50323
Limestone5010
Lauderdale4966
Lowndes47221
Cullman4594
Pike4375
Colbert4086
St. Clair4022
Escambia3966
Coffee3812
Calhoun3765
Covington3707
Bullock36910
Barbour3532
Talladega3177
Hale31421
Marengo31211
Dale2990
Wilcox2948
Sumter28512
Jackson2842
Clarke2776
Winston2633
Chilton2522
Blount2431
Monroe2392
Pickens2366
Marion23313
Conecuh2107
Randolph2099
Macon1999
Choctaw19512
Bibb1941
Greene1868
Perry1791
Henry1363
Crenshaw1253
Washington1117
Lawrence1100
Cherokee1027
Geneva830
Lamar781
Fayette711
Clay692
Coosa591
Cleburne381
Out of AL00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 52039

Reported Deaths: 652
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby11936201
Davidson11205121
Rutherford304035
Hamilton280435
Sumner163652
Trousdale14985
Williamson134015
Knox12098
Out of TN11987
Wilson96317
Putnam9067
Robertson83911
Sevier8303
Bradley7454
Lake6940
Tipton6495
Unassigned6351
Bledsoe6211
Bedford5705
Montgomery5677
Macon4874
Maury3573
Hardeman3524
Hamblen3434
Fayette3232
Madison3052
Loudon2881
Rhea2850
Dyer2543
McMinn23918
Cheatham2321
Blount2293
Dickson2120
Cumberland1834
Washington1740
Lawrence1646
Lauderdale1513
Anderson1442
Monroe1416
Jefferson1372
Gibson1291
Smith1221
Sullivan1212
Coffee1200
Greene1142
Obion1132
Hardin1097
Cocke940
Haywood932
Marshall921
Franklin883
Wayne880
Hickman800
Warren780
McNairy760
Marion744
White733
DeKalb680
Carter651
Lincoln650
Weakley641
Overton631
Giles621
Hawkins622
Roane620
Grundy611
Unicoi550
Campbell511
Carroll481
Claiborne480
Henderson480
Polk460
Henry450
Johnson440
Grainger410
Sequatchie410
Crockett403
Cannon370
Chester350
Perry340
Meigs320
Humphreys292
Jackson290
Morgan271
Fentress230
Stewart230
Decatur220
Union190
Clay180
Scott170
Houston150
Benton131
Moore130
Van Buren70
Hancock60
Lewis60
Pickett60

 

 

Community Events