deaf@work: BRIAN

Have you ever met someone who welds together the body of a fire truck? Meet Brian! #DeafAtWork #NDEAM

[VIDEO DESC & TRANSCRIPT: Brian is standing in front of the camera, facing the camera.

BRIAN: One of my role models — Mike Rowe, the “Dirty Jobs” TV show host, once said, “It’s okay to not go to college.” That stuck with me. I knew I was college material when I was growing up but coming from a blue-collar environment, I did more with my hands than handling paperwork or dealing with people.

Black and white clip of Brian bringing his welding equipment over to the table and beginning to weld a frame. In the center, a white border surrounds white text “BRIAN” underneath, appears in white text “WELDER.”

BRIAN: My name is Brian Reno and I’m a welder at Spartan.

Black and white clip of Brian measuring the metal. Next clip, Brian looks at the camera before putting his welding helmet.

BRIAN: Growing up, I experienced doing different fields like mechanics, construction, woodwork, welding, and all that. My biggest influence is my father, who told me to go to Southeast Technical Institute for Construction Engineering. After one semester, I realized that this field meant I’d be behind a desk 90% of the time — no thanks. After a year and a half of rotating through various jobs, I decided on welding, it seemed to be a passion of mine. I went back to Southeast Technical Institute to get my welding certificate. That took me one year and I’ve been working ever since.

Black and white clip of Brian working with a close up of his equipment. White text appears at the bottom center, “My father always told me, the more things you know how to do — the easier life will be. You’ll easily find a job.” Light blue text “- Brian” and a light blue line outlines the left side of the text.

BRIAN: Yeah, I’ve experienced some struggles with the application and hiring process. Most of the time it just boils down to communication issues. But this didn’t stop me from sending out my applications. When someone had questions about my application — I put an emphasis on my experiences and immediately they become interested.

Black and white clip of Brian walking through the welding workplace.

BRIAN: Spartan isn’t far from where I live so I always passed by. Once I saw there was a job opening, I applied. I actually applied to Spartan several times. Finally, I applied for a welding position. They liked how I did during the interview — but then they told me they were looking for a brake press operator, a machine that bends things, at the time. I didn’t mind that job though, I told them I was happy to start in that position due to my previous experience, it was a way to get my foot in Spartan. Eventually, after a few years, I transferred to a welding position, and it’s been good!

Black and white clip close up of Brian welding in his helmet.

BRIAN: My job mainly is to build fire trucks. As a welder, I weld so many different things together! Usually I work on building the body of the truck, the little spare parts to be placed inside the truck, or weld the frames that the body of the truck goes on.

Black and white clip of Brian nodding his helmet on before welding.

BRIAN: Most of the time, I’m usually the only deaf person — well, really, in all of my previous jobs too, I’ve been the only deaf person. It doesn’t bother me at all. When it’s just me, I get to focus more on my work. I gotta impress my supervisors to see how hard I work!

Black and white clip of Brian welding two metals together and taking off his helmet to inspect it.

BRIAN: Getting a high school diploma isn’t enough. You must get something more than a diploma — it can be a certification in any field, an associates degree, or even an apprenticeship. It is important to have something to go with your diploma because having something extra will open a lot more doors for you.

Black and white clip of Brian welding metal corners from the side. Next clip, a wide shot of Brian working in the shop.

Video cuts to grey background with the NAD logo quickly changing in different bright colors from teal to white to black to hot pink to green to orange to teal to yellow to purple to finally the official NAD logo with copyright text underneath “The National Association of the Deaf (c) 2019 All Rights Reserved”.]

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