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GoGetter Spotlight: James Mello

We love the skilled trades and the people in them. It is our mission to encourage young people to pursue the skilled trades if they feel they feel like a four year college is not the right fit for them, or they do not want to go into tens of thousands of dollars in debt to get a degree that, today, does not guarantee a well paying job.

Today we are featuring a guy who chose the skilled trade path out of college. Meet James Mello, 19 year old welder from Modesto California.


Growing up, James was not a fan of school work or working under authority figures. Having loved welding since the age of 9 he figured he would go to welding trade school.

"I figured a school based completely off what I love, why wouldn't I go and expand my knowledge? I would say, out of 20 close friends that went away to a 4 year university, at least 10 have dropped out and enrolled at a junior college, or found a 9-5 job."

James is currently looking into becoming a pipe fitter and joining the pipe-fitters union. "My reputation is a big deal to me, and knowing that I have the skills and knowledge to do so makes me very excited and nervous for what my future has to come"

The thing that excites him most is the potential the future holds for him like making a name in the industry and starting his own business.

Two weeks after graduating out of trade school, James got a job at the loke 378 iron workers as a period 2 apprentice, but was quickly bumped up because of the 7 certifications he has. He said that if he had started his job at the beginning of the year he would have easily cleared $80,000 for the year because of all of the overtime he is able to work.

"I chose welding because it was something I had done my entire life that I loved doing. Building something useful out of scrap steel in the yard and the act of knowing that I built something with a purpose is what makes me happy. "

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