CareerTech Champions

Nicholas Mullaney – Granite Skills Centers

Ex-offender credits welding instructor for sparking his interest in learning.

Then: An addict, incarcerated for dealing drugs. Nicholas Mullaney served his time and was released from prison three years ago, taking with him much more than his freedom. Mullaney completed the metal manufacturing/welding program at Granite Skills Center and said his instructor, Martin “Chipper” Nickell, taught him the skills he would need to land a decent paying job after his release.

“He was an amazing instructor with a great heart,” Mullaney said. “I was lucky to have had the opportunity to have him as my instructor before his passing.”

At Granite Skills Center, Mullaney

  • Learned how to weld. He said he had never touched welding equipment before entering the program.
  • Gained self-confidence, knowing he would be able to land a good-paying job with his new skills.
  • Became motivated to continue learning.

“After realizing I could absorb so much knowledge,” Mullaney said, “it sparked my interest to expand my knowledge even more.”

Mullaney is working on a college degree in marketing and professional sales and has maintained a 4.0 GPA.

Hired as a welding fabricator at Metro Sign Corporation, Mullaney was later moved to the install team. He was recently honored with the company’s Employee Spotlight, and has received several pay increases since he started in 2018, as well as Christmas bonuses.  

Now: He has paid health benefits at Metro Sign, and a company phone. Mullaney has his CDL permit, and when he completes the CDL test, he will receive another pay raise.

Mullaney rents a home and owns two vehicles, and he and his fiancé are expecting a baby boy this spring.

“My life has changed tremendously since this program. CareerTech gave me a skill I can take with me the rest of my life; no matter what happens in my future, that skill will always be there.”

Nicholas Mullaney, welding fabricator

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