July 15th, 2013
Taylor Goudreault plans to pursue an associate degree in Drafting and Design Technology this fall
Taylor Goudreault doesn’t boast very much about his accomplishments, but there are plenty of successes for him to be proud of at only 19 years of age. He applied for a job at Huntington Ingalls Industry on May 15, graduated from high school on May 16 and was hired by Huntington-Ingalls on May 17, where he is currently earning $19 an hour. He will be attending Bishop State Community College Southwest Campus this fall on a scholarship to study Drafting and Design Technology while continuing to work at Ingalls. Goudreault hopes to eventually become a Certified Welding Inspector.
It all started when Goudreault was 14 years old, helping his father build a race car from the ground up. The process involved much welding and fabrication, something that eventually interested the young teen. He was so intrigued by the process he decided to follow in the footsteps of his father, Philip, who was a welder in the U.S. Navy for 13 years.
During that time his mother said she told him he could learn how to design and build his own race car chassis, something that was a “long stretched dream” at his age, said Angela Goudreault. “He got into the real world and realized how many doors could open up and realized there was more than just racing,” said Mrs. Goudreault.
During Goudreault’s freshman year at Alma Bryant High School, Goudreault heard about Bishop State’s Dual Enrollment program. “I thought it was a great idea,” he said. He enrolled in the program and took college courses in welding while attending high school. The summer before going into the 10th grade, Goudreault enrolled in the Dual Enrollment Program at Bishop State’s to study Drafting and Design. He mowed lawns to earn money to pay for gas for the round trip from his home in Grand Bay to Bishop’s Southwest Campus on Dauphin Island Parkway.
In the summer of 2011, he took on an apprenticeship for Southern Gas and Supply Company. By the fall of 2011, he was back in welding, accomplishing his dream to follow in his father’s footsteps. He attended welding class in the morning and worked 20 hours a week at Southern Gas and Supply after class earning $8 an hour. “It was employment that would teach me more about welding” even though it wasn’t easy, he said. He was later hired in 2012 as a Second Class Welder at Raymond and Associates during a spring break from school. “This company was great. They hired me on and let me work on Sundays until I completed my junior year,” he said. He worked enough time that he was able to save up money and purchase his first automobile.
Fred Howell, Director of Acquisition at Huntington Ingalls Industry, initially met Goudreault during 2013 graduation ceremonies at Bryant Technical Career Center’s graduation where Howell was the guest speaker. “He indicated an interest in being a welder at Ingalls,” said Howell. “We are always looking to upgrade our workforce and what we look for specifically is attitude,” said Howell. “We hire for attitude and train for skill. Taylor exhibited the kind of attitude we were looking for,” he said.
Howell said he thought it was “incredibly impressive” that Goudreault graduated from high school and did dual enrollment at the same time. “We made him an offer to come to work here. It’s pretty special to me to take a high school student who is able to earn college credits and learn a trade” at the same time. “Those are the type of people we’re looking for,” said Howell.
Bishop State’s Drafting and Design Instructor, Marshall Runderson, said Goudreault was at first “shy and quiet,” but once he obtained the basics he was on his own. “He had a knack for it and really enjoyed it,” said Runderson.
Goudreault explained, “There are a lot of people my age who are just trying to find something to do,” said Goudreault. “I want to let people know this program is good.” He credits Runderson with keeping him focused on finishing the program. “There wasn’t any point of giving up,” said the teen. “It was challenging, but that kept my interest. That’s how you get ahead,” said Goudreault.
Dual Enrollment allows eligible students to earn high school and college credits simultaneously. College courses count toward high school graduation credits and the courses remain a part of the student’s regular transcript.
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