written by Tiffany Rae Johnson
Dionte Jackson, age 22, initially crossed paths with Gladiator Welding on Facebook. At the time, he was working at the local Amazon warehouse. The post on Facebook caught his attention. The program came across as “interesting" and "different." In the past, envisioned himself working in construction.
The information he found introduced him to Gladiator Welding’s second cohort. His journey has been “like riding a bike.” An accelerated trade program is hard to come by nowadays, a “free 25 week program is almost too good to be true.” Dionte did not know what to expect coming into class. Luckily, he found more than what he was looking for.
“There’s an energy in the room... a vibe,” Dionte describes, “It’s the people in the program that make you want to keep coming back.” For these reasons, his motivation never runs low. One of the benefits of The Gladiator Welding Program is the network provided to their students. “Companies come to us… we’ve even gone to company facilities to check out the possible work environments we might find ourselves being a part of.”
Dionte surprises himself at Gladiator Welding, “At first, I was not expecting to find myself getting the hang of it so fast.” The hands-on learning benefits those who learn the same way as him. Welding is a career Dionte sees himself “staying at.” He has a long term goal of “becoming a homeowner” in this line of work. Within the first week of the program, progress is “felt and seen.” Through his experience, Dionte believes, “Anyone will become good… come everyday, just try it out. There’s honestly nothing to lose.”
About the Author
Tiffany Rae Johnson was born in 1997, in Fresno, California. She has a passion for boxing. Once a competitor, she now enjoys coaching upcoming talent in the Central Valley. She also enjoys traveling and painting. She thrives on spontaneous adventures and creative ways of viewing her surroundings.
She is a graduate of Clovis Community College, where she received her Associate’s Degree in Kinesiology. After a change in career path, she is now a senior at Fresno State University, where she is receiving her B.A. in Mass Communication and Journalism in December 2022. She has experience as an SCCCD Public Relations/Marketing, Fresno State Athletics Strategic Communications/Digital Media, and CMAC TV Community Media intern.