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  • May 02, 2024 3 min read

    Welding Futures: The Rise of Western Welding Academy

    Recently, the age-old narrative of college being the sole pathway to success is vigorously challenged. Beau Barkley, host of the Ol' Boy Podcast, is at the forefront of this shift, advocating for the value of blue-collar careers and alternative learning. By exploring Beau's journey and the rise of the Western Welding Academy, we discover how innovative approaches to education and career development are reshaping the trade industry. 

    Forging New Paths 

    During high school, Beau Barkley's early flirtation with film evolved into a passion that would eventually disrupt the traditional scope of career prospecting. His distinctive path, etched with jobs ranging from track laborer to stone masonry, fortifies the narrative that alternative routes can lead to remarkable achievement. After gaining substantial traction in video production for a local gym, Beau's skill set spiraled into a sought-after commodity, setting the stage for his collaboration with the visionary Western Welding Academy. 

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    A New Approach to Education 

    Western Welding Academy's philosophy wavers from conventions. Founder Tyler Sassy, once a pipeline welder himself, saw an opportunity to reinvigorate the industry's educational model. With a focus on cultivating work ethic, accountability, and integrity, the academy's educational rigor is likened to that of a Navy Seal's training, infusing discipline with practical knowledge. 

    It's no wonder that with its modern marketing mindset, the academy has seen enrollment numbers skyrocket from a mere ten students to an impressive 600-plus in just a short timeframe. This is a testament to its ability to truly engage with the younger generation and revitalize interest in the trades. 

    Building Community and Skills 

    One pivotal event that encapsulates Western Welding Academy's commitment to community and skill development is the annual welding competition. With its inclusive nature catering to high schoolers, professionals, and even onlookers, the competition transcends its original scope, becoming a feature for education, spectacle, and nurturing potential. Furthermore, through simulations and individual guidance, the school ensures that learning and curiosity take precedence, establishing a low-entry threshold that welcomes all. 

    The Power of Modern Marketing 

    The school's prominent social media presence exemplifies marketing adaptability in the digital era. With daily content across various platforms, the academy casts a wide yet specific net that successfully garners engagement and establishes a strong brand narrative. 

    A Tour with a Mission 

    Highlighting the critical shortage of tradespeople, Beau Barkley discusses the Blue Collar Tour, conceived by Tyler Sassy, to encourage young minds to explore these vital careers. Targeting schools and broadening horizons beyond welding resonates with students and teachers alike, fostering newfound appreciation and interest in trades. 

    Personal Triumph and Industry Impact 

    Beau Barkley's personal narrative of selling possessions to fund his business culminates in his entrepreneurial success‚ÄĒa successful video production agency replete with industry accolades. His practical yet flexible approach demonstrates how persistence and enjoyment in one's work can lead to impressive accolades and fulfillment.¬†

    Conclusion: Lighting the Torch for Future Careers 

    The Ol' Boy Podcast, through Beau Barkley's insights, shines a light on the transformative power of alternative education in the blue-collar sector. With Western Welding Academy's robust program, strong social media strategy, and vibrant community engagements like the Blue Collar Tour, we witness a paradigm shift. The school not only educates but also instills a sense of pride and possibility within a once-underestimated career path‚ÄĒthereby welding a new path for eager minds ready to ignite their futures in the trades.¬†


    "I worked as a stonemason for a little bit, worked in the oil field, you know, pumper, and worked on music tours for a little bit, in the fitness industry. For the last 20 years, I've been in and out of the trades." 

     Three Fun Facts about Beau 

    1. Beau Barkley started in video production by creating and selling street fight videos edited with heavy metal music to his friends.
    2. Western Welding Academy's annual welding competition offers prizes and scholarships and features various simulator setups, including torch cutting and pipeline simulation.
    3. The academy's marketing success is partly due to its strong social media game, achieving 750 million views across all platforms last year.

    Where to follow Beau