In the Hot Seat with Jonathan Crompton
10 Questions with Jonathan Crompton, Arclabs Master Trainer
Name: Jonathan Crompton
Title: Master Trainer, Arclabs Welding School
Location: Piedmont Corporate Office, Piedmont, SC
Primary responsibilities: Crompton audits classes to ensure that instructors follow the school’s curriculum and students learn the skills required to be successful welders.
Years Welding: X?
“If someone is thinking about going to welding school, I want them to think about Arclabs because of our instructors. If they can touch it, they can weld it, and they can teach you how to weld it. Well-rounded instructors know how to fabricate — and communicate.”
– Jonathan Crompton, Master Trainer
1. Training the Trainers
“Four years in the Maine Corps taught me so much more than welding. It taught me to be organized, efficient and competitive. So, it only makes sense that I am always improving our procedures. While instructor training is ever evolving, the curriculum is at the core. I work with instructors to help identify ways to help students succeed, depending on their progress. With students who are progressing slowly, instructors learn ways to help them move to the next level or, conversely, keep them challenged if they are moving quickly.”
“I have new instructors shadow lead instructors and work through various classroom scenarios. It’s a learning curve. They sit it on classes and watch us teach, and then we audit their teaching so they know what they can do better.”
2. To Teach is to Care
“At Arclabs, our instructors are not only good welders, good coaches and good critics; they also care. It’s not just about showing up and clocking in; you’ve got to care about your students and their success. The greatest joy in my life, other than being a father, is having students come back to me six months later and shake my hand and say, ‘I never thought I could be this successful.’”
3. What Was Your School Experience?
“I’ve been to three different welding schools to learn, not teach, starting with high school at the Anderson Career Center, Anderson, SC. I attended welding school in the Marine Corps and then enrolled in Tri-County Technical College in Anderson, SC. My father was teaching at Tri-County when I enrolled. When we talk about what made me care, this is where it really started. I saw instructors give it their all, like my dad who was getting off a 12-hour third shift and then coming in to teach students.”
4. Why Did You Become an Instructor?
“I knew that once I learned how to be a good welder and had the opportunity to be an instructor, I would give students the time they needed and more if they wanted. For the others, I would be a motivator.”
“I took the position at Arclabs because I knew I could be good at it. I want to be someone that our students and instructors can look up to. I want to watch them succeed.”
5. Experience Makes a Good Instructor
“I did four years in the Marine Corps where we worked on everything from building and fabricating trailers and fixing armor plating, to making pull-up bars and grills. We also fabricated a pretty cool tool that was used by the military for a confidential purpose.”
“I also worked for a number of companies, gaining experience and certifications as a pipe welder at chemical and nuclear plants in the South Carolina area.”
6. What is the Most Rewarding Part of Your Career?
“Being able to take someone who has had a tough time in life and school and mentor them as they become skilled welders is a big reward.”
7. Measured Success
“Success doesn’t end with the classroom experience. Arclabs is there from beginning to placement. We take pride in our numbers. Our completion rate is 75% and our job placement rate is 90%.”
“We want you to finish the program, and we want to help you find a job. If you come here and tell us you want to weld in a nuclear power plant, we’re going to try to get you there. We do whatever we can to help.”
8. Do You Keep in Touch With Your Graduates?
“We definitely try to keep track of where our graduates have landed. Many of them come back to the school and speak to current students. They talk about what it took for them and how it helped them get to where they are. The students realize that and think ‘these Arclabs instructors tell it like it is.’ Inspiration from other graduates helps students commit to learning.”
9. What’s Your Favorite Student Story?
“One of my favorite success stories was LJ who was working at Lowe’s making like eight bucks an hour. He’d come in and it was obvious he needed our help. We helped him under the radar with basic things toiletries and food because he was really struggling. When he left our program, we helped place him at a job making $15 an hour. He came back three months later and you would have thought he was making a million dollars a year from how excited he was. It’s not always about the huge money. This man went from making $200 to $700 a week and was ecstatic.”
10. What Is Your Goal for ArcLabs?
“If someone thinks about welding school, I want them to think Arclabs. That’s my vision. My goal is to make Arclabs the best welding school in the country.”
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