William Lucas is a senior in the welding & fabrication program from Spackenkill Central School District. 

Why did you choose to attend the CTI welding & fabrication program? 

Initially, I wanted to learn how to weld because my dad didn't trust me not to burn the house down. He wanted me to get some training before I got a welder. But as I'm here, I'm learning I can make a great career out of it long term, so I’m going to stick with it.

What are some things you’ve learned so far?

Not everything goes the way you want it to. You’re not always going to have the perfect equipment, but you're going to have to learn how to make do with what you have to get the product out, and get the job done.

I've done a little bit of everything: stick welding, MIG (metal inert gas) welding, TIG (tungsten inert gas) welding, band saw cutting, plasma cutting. I’ve done almost everything but CNC (computer numerical control) work so far.

What is your favorite part of the program?

Probably TIG welding. I like the finesse. I like how clean it is, how quiet it is. The others are kind of messy.

I've learned pretty much all of my handiwork here. My family doesn't really have a whole lot of tradesmen. So, if I wanted to learn with my hands, I wouldn’t have been able to do that at home. And I learned a lot of that here.

I do really appreciate the openness for internships through the work-based learning program. I'm having a great time also learning from that. That's a great opportunity BOCES gave me.

I intern with the Dyson Racing Team, and now I'm learning about how race cars are built, too. I'm working on baffles inside of an oil tank for a 1975 McLaren. It's something I never would have been able to work on unless I had this opportunity.

What are your aspirations or plans after you complete the program?

After I graduate, I have a guaranteed spot with National Geographic on one of their ships traveling from Alaska to Antarctica and everywhere in between. I want to do that for a couple of years. They have six-month contracts and I'll do several of those.

Stay tuned for our final profile later this week as CTE month comes to a close.