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Culture - Apr 28, 2023

National Welding Month | Matthew Mlodik

Karter Kaminske | Waupaca Foundry

Welders are the hidden backbone of Waupaca Foundry operations

Matthew Mlodik, a maintenance assistant at Waupaca Foundry Plant 2/3 in Waupaca, Wisconsin, began pursuing his career in welding long before he could even legally have a job.
“When I was a little kid, my dad welded on a farm and I'd sit there with a welding helmet, and I'd watch him,” Mlodik said.

With a passion growing from a young age, as soon as Matthew turned 18 years old and graduated high school, he began his welding career at Waupaca Foundry in the maintenance department.
Today, Mlodik is responsible for welding in the maintenance department to improve efficiency and safety throughout the foundry.

Starting in April 1996, National Welding Month has been celebrated annually by the American Welding Society to bring awareness to the welding industry. For Waupaca Foundry, welding has been a core component of its operations since its beginning. Today, welders are essential to foundries, from maintaining heavy machinery to improving casting operations and keeping people safe.
When Mlodik first started his career at Waupaca Foundry, a mentor gave him the secret to being an exceptional welder: Take extra time and take pride in your work.

“I can walk through the plant, and I can name all kinds of projects that I’ve built and are still up there today,” Mlodik says. “I've always told people this: “Take pride in your work. Make it look nice.”
To foster that same sense of pride in the next generation of welders, Mlodik continues his mentor’s legacy by providing on-the-job training and offering tips and industry knowledge, such as best practices and safety protocols.

Recently, Mlodik worked on the 2018 construction of the new core room at Plant 2/3. Mlodik and his team were responsible for welding pipes, structural steel and other components that were installed. Additional scope of the project included welding numerous anchor points and tie-off points for safety harnesses.
“I take this responsibility very seriously because people's lives depend on the quality of our work. I personally welded hundreds of these anchor points, ensuring that they are top-notch and reliable. It's important to me that people can trust the work we do and feel safe working at heights knowing that the anchor points are secure,” Mlodik says.

For Mlodik, a successful welder consists of confidence, a determined mindset and practice.

“You have to have the confidence in order to do it, you have to have the mindset that ‘I know I can do it.’ And if you know you can do it, and you know you have the skill set to do it, it is actually very easy,” Mlodik says. 

The theme of this year’s National Welding Month is “Be Part of The Future of Welding.” Welding is the hidden backbone and silent hero that makes up the world around us. Waupaca Foundry is proud to be the employer of about 435 welders. We thank our welders for their commitment to quality and safety.

Cast your own future as a welder at Waupaca Foundry: http://3dtvreviewsblog.com/Careers
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