Pipe Welding Series: Bevel Talk

Insights from Kiewit Power

June 19, 2019 Season 1 Episode 1
Pipe Welding Series: Bevel Talk
Insights from Kiewit Power
Chapters
Pipe Welding Series: Bevel Talk
Insights from Kiewit Power
Jun 19, 2019 Season 1 Episode 1
Miller
Miller chats with Justin Morse and Chris Ridenour from Kiewit Power to learn how welding has influenced their career path and what welding has brought to the oil and gas industry.
Show Notes Transcript

Miller chats with Justin Morse and Chris Ridenour from Kiewit Power to learn how welding has influenced their career path and what welding has brought to the oil and gas industry.

Questions covered in this episode:
•How did you become interested in welding as a career? 
•What training/schooling did you participate while in high school?
•Did you have any jobs growing up that involved welding?
•After high school, what was your educational path? 
•Talk about memories of what impressed you the most while learning welding (was it a project, a person/mentor, class curriculum, life experience)
•Describe what your career in welding has brought to your world.

For more information on Arc Reach Technology, visit:  https://www.millerwelds.com/products/arcreach



Speaker 1:
0:00
Welcome to bevel talk the podcast where we discuss the everyday challenges of welding pipe in the field today. Jim and I are with Justin Morris and Chris Rodner from Kiewit. So guys, let's take a minute and let's introduce ourselves to our listeners. So Justin, give us a little bit of your background just for a few minutes.
Speaker 2:
0:19
Yeah. Um, I am the director of field tentacles for it services for cubic corporation. Um, and working for queue going on 10 years now and my pretty much my entire career with Q, it's been somehow welding related, whether it was Qa, QC, um, pushing work as a superintendent, um, or uh, as a welding engineer, wellbeing manager, um, across primarily our power and wealth and gas work and welding for going on. How old am I going on 18, 17, 18 years now. Um, so it's been a fun ride with the company then all over North America seeing a lot of cool projects, a lot of big projects and uh, every day brings new challenges.
Speaker 1:
1:06
Chris, what about you? Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Speaker 3:
1:09
Yeah. Uh, Kris Rondeau, the, uh, district, well, a manager for a Kiva welding services, uh, manage welding operations across our corporation. Uh, been in this capacity for a couple of years now. I've been with Q in about seven years, maybe a little longer, a couple breaks the surface back and forth. Uh, I mean in cinema, boilermaker by trade, uh, come through the welding career as a, as a young young kid following kind of my dad's footsteps, uh, been welding roughly I'd say about 12, 13 years, something like that and maybe a little longer.
Speaker 1:
1:44
Um, that's about it. Okay. Jamie, you want to give us a little bit of background about yourselves for our listeners? Sure. Uh, Jim burn with Miller electric men with Miller for 34 years. The last 20 years I've been dealing mostly with the pipe welding market. I manage a team of Wilder's that support the applications and sales for our products and I'm also an account manager and I handled the key with account is one of them. And I'm Danny Mortenson. I've been with Miller for just over five years. I started out as a field support in Oklahoma supporting welding operations in Oklahoma. And now I'm a segment manager for field pipe welding in Appleton, Wisconsin. So Jetson and Chris, just to get started, um, as we move into talking about the challenges of, of pipe welding in the field, you know, really we want to know how did you get interested in a career in welding? What's your story?
Speaker 2:
2:51
Yeah, this is a just, I guess I'll take this one first. Um, my path was, was kind of interesting. It started in high school. I was taking a science class where you, you know, picked a topic that a lot of research on it really dug into the weeds of how and why, um, and welding campus one of those, those topics. Um, so just happened that my teacher knew a older retired boilermaker and are the little town in upstate New York where I'm from. Um, hooked me up with them and started going over to the shop in his barn out back and just started welding with them. Um, and he showed me the ropes, you know, I really, really enjoyed it. Um, kept coming back for punishment and uh, and really, really learned a lot and took away a lot from his, uh, his vast years of experience.
Speaker 2:
3:43
He used to work in the naval shipyards, um, for, for a long time as a boiler maker. So kind of started in this guy's a barn welding and just loved it and then kind of took it from there. Um, bought my first welder and started doing some like race car type stuff, got a a rig truck for a little bit. Um, and then my path kind of diverged from a lot of people end up going to university in Montreal from mechanical engineering. Um, while I was there, it's still kept up doing quite a bit of welding for a lot of different student projects. And then upon getting out of school, eventually getting a job with a subsidiary of, of queue it and really honing my, my knowledge of the industry with Kewill.
Speaker 1:
4:26
That's fantastic. I think your story is similar to most people in welding that it started with somebody teaching them something and they became hooked on it. I'm Chris, you said that it was, that yours was kind of the family tradition. You started following your father's footsteps. Show on elaborate a little bit on that for us.
Speaker 3:
4:42
Yeah, of course. I'm a third generation for maker by trade. I'm a father, grandfather on. So I was, I didn't really understand what capacity or what that meant, you know, as a young kid. But I always remember seeing, you know, my parents welding on farm equipment, stuff like that and always thought it was cool. I mean, who, what kid is in a pyromaniac. Correct. Uh, so just the thought of being able to, you know, well and makes bars I I thought was was a fun thing. But um, started working at a really young age is kind of, you know, summer programs with my dad up film warehouses and what like, what not. But that kind of where it took off for me, I wanted to go as well there. Everything on the job. So that was the start Withrow high school welding program and did I do with a bunch of competitions and that got opened some doors to a coop program in high school where I went to Tennessee tech for the drafting blueprint and wellbeing program. You graduated from there early and went on to, well my junior and senior year I'm not shift. Um, and that kind of kick started everything.
Speaker 1:
5:52
That's fantastic. Um, so for the younger audience, so the kids are still in high school that are wanting to learn more about welding careers or careers in welding, what advice to you to have for them? What, what are your thoughts, um, how they can get involved in welding?
Speaker 4:
6:11
That's a good question. Um, Eh,
Speaker 2:
6:14
it's Kinda tough honestly. A lot of people we talked to, especially, you know, if they're asking about what the trade means and getting into the tree, whether it's talking to, you know, apprentices at a union hall or going into a welding training school, I think there's a decent, the barrier to entry and explaining kind of all the different career paths that are within the field. It's really not necessarily a obvious. So the best thing is if you know somebody who works as an industrial welder, um, if you know, if you're lucky enough to know somebody that really in the trade and really picking their brain about what it means, because you know, for this, the salary range is huge. I mean, you can make a really, really good money in this industry, but it does require traveling. It requires a very refined skill set. Um, yeah, it's, it's not an, it's the answer's not obvious.
Speaker 2:
7:09
I think if you go to like the uh, oh, like federal government kind of like job description thing. I'll tell you what the average wage of a welder's like I don't like $22 or something like that. And I'll tell you what, if you make it, and in the, the world of heavy industrial welding, there's a big gap from what the government will tell you and what the possibility is. So, um, it's something we've actually talked about within Q and a as, as getting out, I think Kristen elaborate on this little more, but get into some more schools and helping educate a younger generation. I mean, this is what it really means to be a welder. And today's Today's world and also work can take your, doesn't mean necessarily that you're flipping the hood for 30 years, but you know, you can use it, get into a management role, supervisory role, a inspection, quality control and things like that. So it's very varied industry and there's a ton of room for growth specially as we need more welders and, and a lot of the older generation retires.
Speaker 1:
7:59
No, that's, that's an incredible point that you're making there. Um, it really is a great career path. There's so many different opportunities that you just have to start. Chris, do you want to elaborate a little bit, um, on what you guys are trying to do or how you're trying to draw more interest to the industry?
Speaker 4:
8:17
Okay.
Speaker 2:
8:17
Yeah. Um, you know, I, I tell you for, for young students in high school, you know, going into those first days in high school, they're trying to Kurt pick that career path, whether it be technical or university and you know, a lot, a lot of students don't know what they want to do their freshman year, but as they're going through they're realizing maybe a university path really isn't for me. You know, I, I like, uh, this technical model a lot better. And, you know, looking at labor statistics, some of the courses Justin and I teach here within Cuba, you know, we're seeing this big gap in the industry to where we wasn't feeding young people into the trade. Do you ever want, everyone wants to go get a university, you know, four year degree, which is great, but you know,
Speaker 3:
8:57
we had, and we don't have wilderness to backfill those positions. So just trying to get in front of this right now and trying to build, you know, our company up. I getting out to these schools, explain to these students what would it takes to be an industrial welders, how we started, what they can expect, kind of pay ranges and stuff like that. And I think they get really, really interested group.
Speaker 1:
9:18
So Jim, I know you're an account manager for Kiewit with Miller, but I also know that you work with the union associations quite, quite closely. Is there anything you want to add to what Justin and Chris has said about training and programs? Um, as a company we find it very important to not only work with the contractors but labor is a huge part of this and a lot of the contractors will contract out with the Labor through the local union organizations. Um, so we need to be working with them quite closely on some of the work we've been doing with them is to um, sponsor some of the school activity that they have generated. The local union here in Wisconsin, the local 400 has um, sponsored program where we donate welding equipment to some of the local high schools to get them some of the latest equipment and some of the latest processes that they can use and try to attract more of the students into some of the technology that's available in the welding equipment today.
Speaker 1:
10:25
And as part of that, I've learned that the local unions are creating these programs. It's a junior walling program where they can actually, I think they call it a junior apprenticeship program and if the students are interested in welding and they contact the school counselors, they can actually get put into a list and get into some of these junior apprenticeship programs where they can actually start welding at some of the companies in the summertime and get entry. I think some of the, some of the work that they're doing. We'll also get them some credit toward an apprenticeship program. Um, as far as the four or five years that it takes to become a journeyman. That's fantastic. You know, it's very clear that we're all very passionate about welding and about keeping the trade alive and bringing in passing skills on to the future generations. It's something that we need. Justin and Chris is, we're starting to wrap up for this one. I wanted to talk to you guys. What is a career in welding brought into your life? What are the high points? I mean, what does it given you that you wouldn't have gotten elsewhere? Um,
Speaker 3:
11:39
it is Chris and I got kicked this one off. Like I said, for me, you know, going through a boilermaker trade in the apprenticeship program, I've got to build some of the coolest work in the industry. Uh, worked all around the world. I've got you. Travel the world, see the world. MMM. I mean every, it's every kid's dream to be able to go on some of these really cool industrial plants such as nuclear power plants, uh, department of energy plants. Uh, it's just the things that, that you can be involved in that most people will never get to see. I mean, most people never, never walked through up a nuclear power plant. Let along the Weldon one for Montonya. Um, but what it's done for me and my family, it's just, it's a career. It's, it's long Jaffe, right? There's welding's not going to end. Someone's going to have to weld something, um, in until the end of time I would assume. But it's been an awesome career for me and it, and it's lined up for generation generations and something that we can pass on and, uh, hopefully to, to my son and move forward from there.
Speaker 2:
12:37
Yeah, a lot of, it's, a lot of, it's similar for me. Um, yeah, you drag it on the road and you see these big projects and the, especially as a kid yet your rector sets and you're talking trucks and stuff and they actually be at, be out there. Not only, you know, doing the work, but you know, like our capacity at Q would actually prescribing how the work is built is pretty cool. The Coo, you know, a $4 billion project being done in Gal, you know, w we helped put together procedures and the plan and you know, um, coordinated the execution, something that scales, uh, if it's unrivaled to really have some that tangible, um, at the end of every day that you can say you help build. So a mid, a lot of great people. I'm just like most things the world smaller than than you think it is and make a lot of great connections across multiple different companies. Even yell some our competitors where we're close friends with. Um, and it's, it's really cool to see where things are going. Um, you know, as, as the market shifts in the world shifts, uh, Kinda like Chris is saying, weldings always some component of something, you know, whatever new technologies are coming down, it's coming down the line. It's just really interesting to see, you know, what will we be building in 10 years or 20 years from now and we'll then we'll be a part of it.
Speaker 1:
13:48
Thanks Justin and Chris for your time today. Please join us next time on bevel talk. As we talked to Justin and Chris about who Kiewit is at, some of the projects that they're working on and how they're coping with challenges in the welding industry.
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