Skilled 4 Work: CNM’s welding program sets up students for success

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — As a sports enthusiast coming out of school, Dakota Wood wanted to be an athletic trainer.

"Oh, shoot. The anatomy aspect of it was a little much for me," Wood said.

He found himself pursuing a different career — welding.

"She told me to pick something that sounds like fun," Wood said. "I figured playing with hot steel and fire all day would be pretty fun!"

Wood works at Kerr Squared, a welding shop in the South Valley.

Greyson Tagg is another welder at the shop.

"I went to Valencia High School and my freshman year they had a welding class and I took that," Tagg said.

Both men found their callings at CNM’s welding program.

"Here at CNM we take a lot of pride in our students," said Ron Hackney, who has been a welding instructor at CNM for 20 years. "We always tell them your successes are our successes, your failures are our failures."

The quality of the program speaks for itself. Their students routinely rank in national welding competitions, leading them to lucrative careers.

"All our graduates get jobs if they wanna get a job or they can continue their education," Hackney said. "But, our salary ranges change. You can make several hundreds of thousands a year, or can make $35,000 a year, it kind of depends on what’s your motive."

Five of the welders at Kerr Squared have graduated from the CNM program.

"If you’re interested in welding, at least come give it a try," Hackney said.

For more information on CNM’s welding programs, see below: