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When Drew Mascotti graduated from high school, he got a job delivering pizzas. But he knew it wasn’t what he wanted to do for the rest of his life. So he signed up for a welding class. Welding joins two metals, using heat. Mascotti had to see if this was a skill that “was going to stick.”
It did. Mascotti wanted to learn everything about welding and manufacturing. He decided to make welding his career. Eventually, he enrolled at Hobart Welding School, in Troy, Ohio. He was there for a year. During that time, Mascotti took “every single welding course that I could,” he told TIME for Kids.
For the past 18 years, Mascotti has been a welder. He now works for the EEW Group. The company has a big project on the horizon: It’s in the process of opening a factory that will produce monopiles for offshore wind turbines.
A monopile is a large steel tube. It supports a wind turbine. Wind turbines, which look like giant windmills, produce eco-friendly electricity. A typical day for Mascotti involves a number of tasks and skills. One minute, he’s driving a forklift. The next, he’s fitting pipes and reading blueprints. “There are a lot of variables that go into the job,” Mascotti says. “It’s not just welding.”
He also works with computers and technology. Joining two sections of a monopile, for example, is a team effort between people and automated equipment. First, a person hand-welds the inside of a pipe. The weld is finished by a machine that’s guided by a worker.
Mascotti’s favorite part of being a welder is “making an honest living,” he says. He’s also proud to be involved with a significant effort to help the environment. “Everybody is trying to go green for a reason,” he says. “A lot of different people play a part, and I’m playing mine right now. I’m working for a company that is trying to pave the way in America for wind energy, offshore specifically. And it’s gratifying to be a part of that process.”