The Surehand® Spotlight shares just some of the many thousands of stories in the skilled industrial trades, shining a bright light on the hard-working tradesmen and women who build, operate, maintain, and ensure the safety of the world we live in. We also focus on the individuals and organizations working hard to advance the industrial sectors and ensure their success over the coming decades.
This month’s spotlight is trained on Jimmy Alcon, a millwright from rural North Carolina who recently entered the welding inspection field and joined the rapidly growing ranks of Surehand inspector users.
Photo credit: Jimmy Alcon
Tell us a little bit about yourself, Jimmy.
I live on a small farm in a rural part of North Carolina with my wife and daughters. I bought the farm in the mid-1980s. We have a few cows, a couple of donkeys, and an old horse named Trigger. You could say he’s a rescue horse. He’s blind, but he gets around good.
How did you get involved in industrial inspection?
I started in the millwright trade and recently moved into the welding inspection field. I put pride into my work and pay attention to details. Inspection is just something I’ve been interested in doing for a while now. I want to be a part of the expansion of the Oil & Gas industry across our nation.
Where did you get your training?
In high school, I went to class and worked the farm during the day and then went to machine shop school at night. Later on, I took some welding classes and then in the last year or so, I took some inspection classes at REAL Educational Services for welding inspection and at NACE for coatings inspections. I went to SRP for the SafeLand training. I have my CAWI certification from AWS and am currently working towards my CWI.
What do you like best about being in the industrial inspection industry?
I hope to make a difference and, in the end, be part of a safe operation that offers high quality service to the industry.
What are the biggest challenges of finding work in industrial inspection?
Getting a foot in the door. Being new to inspection, I don’t have a big network built up just yet. And it’s hard to get work without experience, but you can’t get experience without the work.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten in your field?
Be thorough. The details always matter.
What’s one thing you want an employer to know about you?
I have a strong work ethic and put pride into the work I do every single day on the job.
What do you hope to gain by being a part of Surehand?
Industry exposure. Job opportunities. Professional networking.
What’s your ideal inspection job right now?
My goal is to become a pipeline welding inspector in the Oil & Gas industry.
What do you like to do in your down time?
I enjoy my family time, going to church, working the farm and metal fabrication. I like doing horseshoe art and the possibilities of what you can do with new or used shoes.
Horseshoe butterfly photo credit: Jimmy Alcon
Our thanks to Jimmy for making time to share his story with us. We hope to see him out in the field real soon!
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