We are once again on the road, visiting with one of our alumni.
Benjamin Crandall came to OTC from a rural area of PA. He ended up staying in Cleveland after graduation and is working for Cleveland Tank. Cleveland Tank manufactures diesel gas tanks. Everything from a common fuel tank you would find on an ambulance, fire truck or school bus, to something more specific or custom that powers a crane or fracking equipment. At Cleveland Tank 85% of the welding is done by hand, so they have a unique niche with customers who need smaller quantities. Crandall is a 2011 graduate of OTC’s Master Welding Technology program (WT-4).
He started out at Cleveland Tank over seven years ago as a fitter. He has been promoted several times, and for the past two years has been the Manufacturing Manager. Crandall earned scholarship money while in high school and decided to take advantage of the training offered at OTC. While in high school he was involved in the automotive program but wanted to tackle welding as a career – something he knew very little about. Crandall admits he thrived on OTC’s strict attendance policy at the time, knowing if he was late he would miss an entire day of lab time. “I was raised to be prompt. Where ever I’m going, I’m never late.” He also knew getting kicked out of the program because of poor attendance or quitting wasn’t an option. “When I left home, it was made clear to me this was my chance to make a better life for myself.
There was no running home. The rural area where I’m from, there are few options for employment, let alone making a career there. I had to make this work.” While a student at OTC, prior to his employment at Cleveland Tank, he worked odd jobs he found on Craig’s List in order to meet his financial needs. He ultimately graduated at the top of his class. Crandall is now making things work to his advantage. He manages production between two shifts. He directly oversees first shift employees while working with a team of people regarding sales, engineering, purchasing and scheduling. He is also directly involved with hiring new employees. He even developed an employment test for new hires. “It should be an easy test to pass for someone who has welding training and a few months of foundation education. Surprisingly, 80% of the applicants fail the written test.” Crandall offers up some advice to current or future OTC students. “Attendance is the most important factor in your career that will determine your success and how much money you make. Attention to detail is the second most important thing in your career. And last, wear your safety glasses!”