Bud Watson, Welding Class 2011
Bud Watson graduated from the Ashtabula County Technical and Career Campus Welding Program and Conneaut High School in 2011. Upon graduating Bud moved to Charlotte, NC to pursue a college degree and a career in Motorsports, particularly NASCAR.
After moving to Charlotte, Bud completed a semester of community college to gain credits needed to enroll in a Mechanical Engineering program. Bud is currently employed with Wylie Race Cars as a fabricator, sales rep, and also does most of the R&D work to make our cars faster.
According to Bud, “I continued to live and work part time in NC when a job opportunity came up with WRC, and I had to take it. I relocated back home, but will soon be moving to the Pittsburgh area to be closer to the shop. At WRC, I am a fabricator for all chassis manufacturing, and do most of the welding on the cars and other projects. I also help generate new clients and I am also somewhat of a “Tech Support”. Any of our customers that have questions about their car or components can come to me for assistance in fixing the issue, and I also attend each and every private test session with our customers to help research and develop new ways to be faster.
“Every teacher, staff member, and instructor helped prepare me for life after graduation by treating each assignment and situation like a real world experience. This was something that most teachers at a traditional school wouldn’t always do, and I believe it taught me valuable lessons about the world, and allowed me to get a jump on the students at my home school right after graduation.”
Justin Eldred, Power Equipment Tech Class of 2011
Justin Eldred received his Career Passport from the Ashtabula County Technical and Career Campus (A-Tech) Power Technologies program and graduated from Edgewood High School with the class of 2011. During his senior year Justin was one of only twelve students in the State of Ohio selected to attend the Caterpillar Equipments’ ThinkBIG Dealer Service Technician Program.
The unique program, a collaborative effort between Ohio CAT, a division of Ohio Machinery, and Owens Community College in Toledo, will allow Justin to earn an Associates of Applied Science degree in Transportation Technology while simultaneously pursuing a paid internship at the Caterpillar dealership where he will engage in a highly technical and specialized training program in servicing and repairing heavy equipment for a variety of sources. Caterpillar will defray Justin’s college tuition expenses provided he maintains a high grade point average.
“I recommended Justin for the Ohio CAT ThinkBIG program,” said A-Tech Power Equipment Technology Instructor Jeff Stuyvesant. “In 24 years of teaching, I have only had two other students selected for this prestigious program. Justin is an outstanding young man with an attitude that leads him to constantly learn and achieve and I know he will excel in this training. It has been an honor to be his instructor.”
Justin had established a lengthy track record of success during his time at A-Tech, earning the Outstanding Power Technology Student Award for two successive years, a nearly unprecedented honor. Justin was also involved in the FFA youth club where he was a state level qualifier in a competitive Tractor Troubleshooting Team Contest.
According to Justin, “The Power Equipment Technology program at A-Tech is excellent and my teacher, Mr. Stuyvesant and the A-Tech have encouraged me to think big about my future career and prepared me for the challenge at Ohio CAT’s ThinkBIG program.”