Goodrich student welder forges top state honors

By David Fleet
Mason Depottey’s interests has sparked a career and now statewide recognition.
Depottey, 18, is a Goodrich Senior and Burton resident who attends Genesee Career Institute (GCI), where since 2020 he has studied welding. On April 9, his abilities gained at the GIS earned him a second-place finish at the 2022 SkillsUSA Overall Welding competition, Grand Rapids. The competition attracts outstanding career and technical education students who demonstrate their skills in 108 different trades, technical and leadership competitions.
“The competition includes a set of blueprints, a stack of steel and stainless (steel) and we have five hours to create,” said Depottey.
The competitors then are graded on a set of tolerances when the job is completed.
The GCI, 5081 Torrey Road, Flint provides instruction and experiential learning in many career areas that help prepare Genesee County students, like Depottey for immediate entry into the work force, upon completion of high school and the GCI program.
Depottey’s interest in welding was started by his grandfather Patrick Gerow, who provided an opportunity.
“We first welded on a truck dock, where my grandfather worked,” he said. “I loved it, so my younger brother and I pooled our money and purchased a welder from Harbor Freight Company.”
One of Depottey’s first creations was a “shopping cart go-kart,” that features a 125cc motorcycle engine.
“The GCI has been amazing, the possibilities are unlimited,” he said. “Welding aluminum and stainless steel are in the most demand right now. Some day I plan on opening my own welding shop and providing mobile service to customers.”

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