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Stuart Career Center welding students watch Hjalmar Aguilo, a welder and welding instructor who creates YouTube videos, demonstrate the technique of back feeding.
Hjalmar Aguilo (left), a welding instructor who demonstrates welding techniques on YouTube (WeldTube), gives some advice to welding students at Stuart Career Center. Students pictured are (from left) Sergio Guerra, Shemar Deblanc, Kyler Hardison, Tyrus Jackson, Daniel Alvarez and Ulises Benavides.
WeldTube Star Demonstrates Welding Techniques at SCC
By: Susan Passmore
Twenty-four-year-old Aguilo, a Pasadena Memorial High School graduate, took welding courses at San Jacinto College and worked part time at a car rental business. He is now the lead instructor at South Coast Welding Academy in Houston, but his experience includes welding at ExxonMobil, Shell, Citgo, Fluor Jacobs and Lyondell.
Knowing what it was like to be an inexperienced young welder, Aguilo wanted to help others, so he started making YouTube welding videos five months ago. He now has more than 14,000 subscribers to WeldTube.
“The industry is booming with a lot of younger guys who don’t have experience in welding. So many experienced welders don’t want to teach the younger generation, so I have helped out people across the U.S. and the world with my videos,” Aguilo said.
John Membreno, SCC welding instructor, has worked as a welder and has nothing but admiration for Aguilo and his demonstrations.
“Everything he does is on point. He knows his stuff and is willing to share,” Membreno said.
Aguilo wasn’t always confident that he’d find a career that was just right for him.
“I didn’t know what to do with my life at first, and my friend Aaron Garcia showed me how to weld. There were sparks flying everywhere, and I didn’t want to play with fire,” Aguilo said. “I wanted to find something I loved so I could wake up every morning and want to go to work.”
A short time later, Aguilo decided to try welding again. He felt blessed to learn quickly and to have a knack for the art of welding.
“I put in the work. At first people didn’t take me seriously when I went for welding positions. You have to network to get into the field. It doesn’t matter about the experience – if you have it you have it,” he said.
Aguilo, with some help from Robert Valdez, who films and produces the videos, enjoys doing step-by-step videos of welding techniques. He showed the SCC welding class the proper procedure for a welding technique called back feeding.
“I love what I do, and I love teaching the next generation of welders,” said Aguilo. “You’ve got to love it every day. You put that hood down, and you’re in your own little world.”
Kyler Hardison, a senior from Ross S. Sterling High School, watches Aguilo’s WeldTube videos and came up with the idea of inviting him to visit. Kyler was planning to pursue welding as a career, but he was recently accepted into the Texas A & M engineering program. While he plans to attend college, he knows he has something to fall back on with welding.
After the demonstration, Valdez produced a WeldTube video of Aguilo’s presentation to the class, showing him doing what makes him happy – teaching others his craft.
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