OFTC Grad Spontaneous Poole Finds Success Welding Overseas
When Spontaneous Poole started taking Welding classes at Oconee Fall Line Technical College (OFTC) in 2008, he never imagined the skills he’d learn would take him to the middle of a warzone.
He was the type of student who was always focused and had a tenacity that showed, shared OFTC welding instructor Tony Simmons.
“He became a real student of the craft, had incredible work ethic and was focused on his goal,” Simmons said. “Spontaneous used his time wisely as a student to become the welder that he is.”
After graduating from OFTC in 2010 with a Welding and Joining Technology Diploma and a Certificate in Pipe Welding, Poole started working at American Railcar Industries in Tennille, Ga. “It was during my career at ARI that I worked on my craft and that gave me the experience I needed to further my career,” Poole shared.
He applied for a job in Afghanistan the following year, and Poole’s adventure had only just begun.
Poole welded overseas, working on military vehicles for warzones and received several awards and medals for the work he completed.
“We actually received information that the work we did was very beneficial for the military,” Poole said.
After four years in Afghanistan, Poole returned to the states and started a pipe welding job in Virginia for Robinson Construction Company where he boasted a successful paycheck of more than $2,800 a week. But it wasn’t long until he found himself back overseas, only this time in Baghdad, Iraq.
While in Iraq, Poole’s team worked on projects which helped the military and the department of state with equipment repair and building projects for the base. During his third year, he was promoted to welding supervisor and again received several awards for his work from military and state personnel.
“To be honest, I never thought I would make it to where I am or accomplish what I have with welding,” Poole said. “I’ve always had the ambition and drive, but I didn’t think welding would take me this far and enable me to earn this much revenue.”
“Attending OFTC and starting my welding career gave me the ability to invest, build and explore things I never thought I would,” he added.
And while there are no doubts it was Poole’s hard work, dedication, and love for his craft that enabled him to find success, he gives partial credit to those who’ve helped him along the way.
“I would say attending OFTC for one; my dedication, hard work and consistency would be next. Also, my welding instructor Tony Simmons – he was a hands-on instructor and has been a good reference throughout my career.”
Looking back on his journey, Poole hopes his story can help inspire others to dream big. “My advice would be to invest in yourself,” he said, “keep the faith and stay consistent with whatever you’re trying to accomplish in life. Dreams and goals are met outside of your comfort zone.”