Yuma, AZ (March 26, 2018) – After working one dead end job to the next, Bobby Alvarado knew it was time for a change. While flipping through an Arizona Western College course catalog brought home by his wife, he decided to enroll in some classes and pursue a career doing something he enjoyed – welding.
Now, 15 years later, he’s made his way back to AWC as a first-year Professor of Welding.
“Being able to give back to the community is something that I pride myself on,” said Alvarado. “Being able to pass on my skills and knowledge to students at the same college I attended, I couldn’t think of a better place to work.”
Alvarado received an Associate in Applied Sciences degree from AWC and transferred to Northern Arizona University Yuma Branch Campus through the STEM Pipeline Grant where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Technology Management. After graduation he worked in the welding industry for 13 years before switching gears and using his expertise to teach the craft to others.
“The thing I enjoy most about welding is that it’s an art,” said Alvarado. “Taking one or more metals and fusing them together and fabricating things, I found that to be amazing.”
Looking forward, he has big aspirations for the welding program and its future. This year, welding club students have worked after class and on weekends to build 14 fire pits as a fundraiser for the program. Funds from the fire pit sales will be used for travel, competition fees, and supply costs for an upcoming national SkillsUSA competition. While the fire pits are no longer for sale, as the students are currently preparing for SkillsUSA, they’ll continue the fundraiser again in the fall. Those interested in purchasing a fire pit next semester should contact AWC Welding Laboratory Technician Pedro Ordaz, who is also the welding club advisor, at Pedro.Ordaz@azwestern.edu or at (928) 344-7563 for more information.
Professor of Welding
Arizona Western College