Peninsula College welding graduates share success stories
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Rick Revette, a 1987 and 2010 graduate of Peninsula College, works for Genie Industries in Redmond, where his job blends both his degrees, management and welding.

Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — Peninsula College welding instructor Eoin Doherty likes to tell his students, “Welding is like a tree, with its branches going off in many different directions.”

Three Peninsula College welding alums illustrated that when they returned to the welding classroom and talked about using their expertise in different industries, said Phyllis Van Holland, college spokeswoman.

“It’s unbelievable the way things worked out,” said Marc Bozarth of Sequim, who graduated from the college welding program in June 2013 after the former journeyman millwright and mechanic had retired in 2009.

At the age of 58, he is now a welding instructor in the Kent training center of the Pacific Northwest Council.

“About two weeks after graduation, I received a phone call from the training and education director for the council,” Bozarth said.

“He asked if I was interested in CWI school, and of course my response was yes.

“Then, at the end of August, he called again and told me the welding instructor at the Kent training center was retiring and asked if I would be interested in the job. Again, my response was yes.”

“I can’t believe how much fun the job is,” Bozarth said.

Bozarth had worked in the paper industry for 30 years, first for Nippon and then for Crown Zellerbach in California before transferring to Port Angeles in 1980.

He left the company in 1996 for a five-year stint at Carpenter’s International and the opportunity to be an organizing and research coordinator, but opted to come back to Port Angeles and Crown Zellerbach in 2001, finally retiring in 2009.

Bozarth said that the jobs he had within four months of graduating from Peninsula College more than paid for the two years it took to earn his associate of applied science degree.

“There’s a lot of work out there,” he said.

Rick Revette said his job as a lead for Genie Industries Inc. in Redmond blends the two degrees he earned from Peninsula College.

Revette graduated from Peninsula College in 1987 with an associate degree in management, and again in 2010 with a welding degree.

Although he doesn’t weld anymore, Revette said his welding degree let him get a foot in Genie’s door in 2010.

He is now making more than double what he did before he earned his welding degree, he said.

“I want to give people hope that there are jobs out there,” he said, “jobs with opportunities.”

Revette had enrolled in the welding program in 2008 to get a fresh start.

He returned to school with the help of the Trade Readjustment Act, which provided funding, after he was laid off from the KPly plywood mill when it closed in November 2007.

“I stayed to the bitter end,” he said.

Revette struck his first arc at Peninsula College and found he liked welding.

“It was something different and the chance to learn a new skill.”

Greg Welever was offered a position at Greenbrier Rail Services in Centralia in May 2013, a month before he graduated from Peninsula College with his welding degree.

Greenbrier specializes in work on a wide variety of cars, including covered hoppers, open-top hoppers, boxcars, gondolas, double-stack cars, automotive racks, tank cars and all types of flatcars.

When he told his instructors, Eoin Doherty and Jeramie O’Dell, about his job offer, they told him: “Take it. We’ll work with you to help you finish your degree.”

Originally from Randall, Welever graduated from high school in 2011 and was looking for a college program that would interest him.

He’d heard that PC had a good welding program and decided to check it out, knowing that he could live in Port Angeles in a house owned by his grandparents if he decided to enroll.

For more information about the welding program, see www.pencol.edu or email the instructors at edoherty@pencol.edu or jodell@pencol.edu.

The fact that his mother’s father had been a good welder was also a sentimental draw.

“I would be sort of honoring my grandfather by entering the same profession,” Welever said.

It was a good choice for him, he said.

“I pretty much fell in love with welding as soon as I lit up the torch,” he said.

His advice to prospective students: “Show up every day for class and treat it like a job. Treat others with respect. And don’t pass up the opportunity to take a welding certification test while you’re still in school. It’ll help you get a job.”

Last modified: December 26. 2013 6:22PM
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