Dylan Armstrong came to Springfield, Missouri, by way of Delaware almost five years ago. His plan was to play college football, but as we all know, sometimes life has a way of changing the best-laid plans. A close friend had moved to the area and convinced Dylan to move to Springfield to learn a trade. His work ethic and willingness to learn helped him turn that invitation into a career with us here at Custom Powder Systems, and now he travels the world to help our customers.
Dylan’s story isn’t unfamiliar to most of us. But how he handled the changes that life threw his way makes him an asset to Custom Powder. After moving to Springfield, he found work through the Labor Ready employment agency. Dylan saw an opportunity and began to teach himself how to weld “a little bit. Not very well. Just a bit of the basics.”
According to a 2018 report by The ManpowerGroup, trades workers such as welders, electricians, and mechanics are more in demand than ever before. In fact, over 45 percent of employers report having difficulty filling these roles. What causes a headache for an employer creates an opportunity for someone who is willing to learn.
Dylan had been playing softball in a local league where he met Tyrell, who worked at Custom Powder. Tyrell had overheard that Dylan was looking for a job, and encouraged him to take a weld test.
“I took the test, and they were willing to keep me. They said that I would have to start at the bottom, but I could work my way up. I didn’t complain at all. I was willing to do whatever it took to get in the door.”
At Custom Powder, Dylan found the opportunity to hone his welding skills. Now, two and a half years later, he’s one of our trusted service technicians.
“Now, instead of building the equipment, I’m learning how to run and program all of the equipment we build and also learning to read and understand schematics. I get to learn all the ins and outs of every piece of equipment.”
In Dylan’s words, “the sky’s the limit” when it comes to his next steps. But right now, he’s enjoying the life that being a service technician offers him. Recently, he had the opportunity to travel to Italy to repair some equipment for one of our customers.
The task was to fix some cracked welds and to get the job done in five days. Dylan figured on eight different jobs that needed to be done, but upon arriving in Italy he found a much bigger job. Twenty welds, in total, needed his attention.
“They gave me a week, so we still got it done. I guess they trust me a little bit,” he says, with a chuckle.
In his downtime, he was able to explore the surrounding area of Spoleto, Italy.
“It was probably the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen. At night I walked around and saw the castles, bridges, and the town itself. The town sits on a huge hill, with stone roads and buildings that are thousands of years old.”
If you’ve read anything about us, you’ll know that there’s no secret to why people succeed at Custom Powder – they’re willing to put in the work. Dylan is no exception to that rule.
“I started as a helper. I wasn’t even a welder. I was pushing a broom. But I wanted to learn.”
In just over two years, Dylan has gone from pushing a broom to traveling the world, fixing problems and interacting with customers. From training on reading blueprints to metallurgy, and every step between Custom Powder is willing to invest in the future of its employees. If you or someone you know sounds like a good fit for our team, we’re always on the lookout for exceptional people.