Consuelo Lockhart (IG: @latinasweldingguild)

June 11, 2022

 

 

Welcome to this week's #weldershowcase - we had the opportunity to sit down with Consuelo from @latinasweldingguild and talk a little shop.
 
If you would like to be featured in our weekly showcase (100% FREE) please send us an email to leo.benchmarkabrasives@gmail.com to get you scheduled in an upcoming week. These showcases are intended to highlight your skill, your business, and your tips and tricks.  Most of all it's to have a little fun!
Enjoy and Grind On!

 

 

 
Name:  Consuelo Lockhart

Business Name:  Latinas Welding Guild

Location: Indianapolis, IN
Socials:
Specialties: Inclusive Women's Welding Training, Custom Fabrication, and Public Welding Workshops
Tell us about yourself - what inspired you to get into your trade? And how long?
When I was three, I was adopted from Guatemala and brought to the United States. I grew up in Traverse City, Mich. Since I didn’t speak English, I used art as a means to communicate and would draw every day. I always knew I wanted to be an artist and reconnect with Guatemala.
From fall 2007 to spring 2012, I attended Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University, Grand Rapids, Mich. I was going through their functional art program and focusing on woodworking as my primary medium for projects. Our class was challenged to create a table out of a material we had never used or had limited experience with. I was curious about metal and was encouraged by my professor to learn how to weld for the project. The first time I picked up the welding gun, I was hit with anxiety, curiosity, and excitement. I graduated with my bachelor’s degree in functional art and then landed a job as a gallery sales associate at the Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island, Mich. I started to think about my career options with my degree, which was overwhelming, so I revisited welding. I qualified for a grant through the Michigan Works!® Association to attend an 18-week welding and fabrication program at Grand Rapids Community College, Grand Rapids, Mich. in Spring of 2013.
I started my journey with little to no friendly support from other folks in the industry. I saw this as a challenge I would easily overcome, and that started my journey to learning and exploring manufacturing and welding. Since I’ve been working in the industry, I’ve been able to gain so much knowledge about and insight into the culture, barriers, and opportunities as well as figuring out how to make a positive impact. Exposing the community to this skilled trade has been rewarding because it’s helping people see the industry in a new, vibrant light filled with career opportunities.
 
  What keeps you motivated throughout the day?
Honestly, it’s the women I continuously meet or get referred to try to help. Hearing the lack of support and confidence they receive from friends and family is unfortunately nothing new. But to hear the determination and willingness to learn in their voice is what keeps showing me I’m on the right path. After seeing them enter the program with little to no confidence and leave with confidence is so inspiring for me.
What is your favorite shop tool and why?
I would say that’s a hard question to answer - but maybe it’d be the Milwaukee Hand Grinder. I love that it has an anti-vibration handle and it being battery operated makes it so nice to not have to have power.
 
  What's your favorite piece that you've worked on?
All the projects I’ve worked on I’ve always walked away with a great sense of accomplishment and loved seeing my designs come to life. (Tlaolli Arch - It’s the blue arch).  I also personally love designing projects and I did these triangular fire pits which I want to continue to reproduce!
If you could have any job as it relates to question 1 what would it be and what would you do with that?
If I would get the opportunity to jump around to a few welding jobs that would be amazing! I’d like to try to work on an oil rig, freighter/navy ship, beams on a skyscraper, underwater welding (very short time), trains and even airplanes. I love the idea of being able to have that moment where you can just be in the moment and see.
 
 
What BA product is your favorite and why?
Grinding pads - it’s satisfying to see welds getting cleaned up and having a nice finish.
What BA product surprised you in terms of quality - what about it set it apart from the competition?
Grinding pads - I was surprised how long they lasted but also the rounded edges could be utilized to get the professional look.
 
 
What tips and tricks do you have for us that might be different or eye opening for others to try with BA products?
I would say - representation is everything! As we are helping more women get into the industry they are always looking for products or tools to help them get started with their careers. I think seeing companies who are promoting genuine products with a commitment to supporting an inclusive work environment helps them see that they should stick with it. Plus, it also helps them visualize themselves doing that same work!
If there was one person you could collaborate with - who would it be and why?
Jody Collier - We want to break into the “Educational Videos” realm of the industry and he has been doing it for a while and could probably help guide us. It would be fantastic to have that as an option for some of our welders to also learn how to promote the skill to English and Spanish speakers all around the world.
 
 
Do you have any advice for the next generation that you wish you had when you first started?
Ask for help, Don’t give up and don’t let anyone talk you out of chasing your career!
What are your future plans for your shop?
We want to continue to grow and have hubs all over the country and create shops in Central and South America.
 

 

A Note From Leo

Thanks for sharing your story with us, Consuelo! I really love what you're doing and I hope that we're playing our part to help all those that want to get into the industry. Looking forward to seeing how you progress in the future!



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