For Jeff Tanis, it was all about #TakeMeToCanWeld that allowed him to rub shoulders with some of the country’s brightest welding professionals.

“CanWeld 2015 was an amazing experience,” he said. “St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador was a beautiful and fun setting. The chance to meet and learn from industry experts and leaders, as well as other students, workers and educators in my field really helped me to see the potential paths in the welding profession.”

The #TakeMeToCanWeld social media campaign was created by the CWB Welding Foundation where the winner – a welding student, posted a welding project and the general public could “like” “retweet” “share” or even comment, to establish the winner. As a result, the winner’s expenses to the CWB Group’s annual welding conference were funded by the CWB Welding Foundation.

“I was very excited to win the social media con­test,” he said. “I knew it was a unique opportunity and I had to jump at the chance. “The best thing that I took away from my time at CanWeld was seeing all the different avenues available to those of us in the welding community. The variety of opportunities for further education or employ­ment paths was eye opening. It gave me confi­dence in the future of my chosen career.”

For the 34-year-old Kwantlen Polytechnic Univer­sity alumnus, husband and father of four, welding is much more than just fusing metals together – obtaining as many certifications as possible is a goal he’s aiming for.

“I am in my third year, I completed my C Level in 2012 and my Level 3 of the new apprenticeship program at the end of 2014,” she said. “I’m ap­proximately six months away from receiving my Red Seal Qualification. I plan on taking my Level A once I’ve completed my hours for my Red Seal, and then I plan on taking the CWI Level 1 and possibly my Welding Supervisor examinations. I also plan on getting another CWB ticket or two and a couple of pressure vessel tickets.”

“Welding is such a great industry, there are so many qualifications out there and I’m very excit­ed to learn as much as I can and obtain as many of them as possible to further my career.”

The artistic quality of welding in both laying a good bead and in fabricating objects is another aspect Tanis enjoys about the profession.

“I love the feeling of taking a project through from design to completion and being able to stand back and look at something that I made,” he said. “A sense of accomplishment comes from this kind of work that I didn’t always get in my past jobs.”

As for the success of the first year’s social media campaign, Deborah Mates, Executive Director of the CWB Welding Foundation, said students were en­gaged and the results were quite impressive.

“I’m so pleased that Jeff took the time to partic­ipate and engage in our social media promotion, and I’m also glad that CanWeld provided a great learning experience for him,” said Mates.