Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

September 22, 2013

Welder gets help through program; others might not

Inexpensive welding classes filling a special niche.

MONTEREY — After decades as a day laborer and a stint in an Arizona jail, Peter Helmschrott is grateful for one thing — a full-time job. But it took his last $200 to get there.

And the future of the program that helped him is in jeopardy.

Helmschrott, 36, moved back to Indiana this year after about three years trying to settle in to work in Louisiana. With little education — he dropped out of Howe Military School after ninth grade — Helmschrott started working part-time for Monterey hardware store owner Lawrence Loehmer.

“He said, ‘Man, it’s just hard to make any money at $10 an hour,’” Loehmer recalled. So Loehmer asked Helmschrott: “Did you do anything to improve what you bring to the table for somebody who’s hiring you?”

After conversations with Loehmer, Helmschrott decided to pursue training as a welder — a field he’d heard was ripe with job openings, even for people like him with barriers to employment.

He’d been arrested and sent to jail for three and a half years in Phoenix, Ariz., on a 2003 charge related to selling drugs. Since then, he’d had “doors ... just being slammed in my face left and right” when he sought work.

“I had that problem with drugs — I ended up homeless, went to prison, all that — now I’m trying to repair all my stuff, and I noticed that a lot of places were hiring guys like me for welding,” Helmschrott told the Pharos-Tribune. “It turns out that I’m good at it, and I really like it.”

Loehmer had been explaining to him the effects specialized training could have on his job prospects.

“He just did not realize that, if you do the same job, pretty soon it’s not worth what you’re making today because somebody else will come along,” said Loehmer. “You’ve got to keep advancing.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Shooting victim forgives assailant Misty Wallace was a high school senior with a full ride scholarship to play softball in college. Keith Blackburn was a high school dropout on drugs and in gangs, expecting to be either dead or in prison after taking on a life of crime. Their lives wi

    April 21, 2014

  • Take Back the Night and Angel Walk coming Hundreds of students, faculty, staff and community members will come together at Indiana University Kokomo next week to raise awareness of domestic violence through the annual Take Back the Night and Angel Walk. The rally begins at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday

    April 21, 2014

  • tornadodamage34-20-04.jpg Kokomo Skating Arena: 10 years gone

    If you drive past the intersection of East Morgan and North Ohio streets these days you’ll see some trees, a parking lot and a Dollar General store. What you won’t see is the Kokomo Skating Arena, a landmark which stood on this corner for decades until a tornado caved the roof in April 20, 2004. Those who knew it well said they won’t soon forget it.

    April 20, 2014 6 Photos

  • Question Time: Name a baby (or babies) today

    “Imagine you’re having a baby (or babies) today. What would you name it (or them) and why? (You can give answers for a girl, a boy or both; and any combination for twins, triplets, etc.)”

    April 20, 2014

  • 400SUnion.jpg Counties move forward with flood mitigation one year later

    One by one, properties were bulldozed from the neighborhood between Carter and Murden streets in downtown Kokomo, physically erasing evidence of residential flooding in an area long prone to it.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • 400SUnion Counties move forward with flood mitigation one year later One by one, properties were bulldozed from the neighborhood between Carter and Murden streets in downtown Kokomo, physically erasing evidence of residential flooding in an area long prone to it. Removing homes along Park Avenue, near Waterworks Park

    April 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • Flooded area - E Murden 01 Jaimz family seeks closure after losing everything Ashley Jaimz and her sister, Amanda Urbina, took a drive through the Cedar Crest neighborhood the other day to view how residents were faring in the wake of a Nov. 17 tornado. The drive was intended to provide some closure to Jaimz, who is still stru

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS - FEMA 03 Kokomo resident whose basement collapsed during flood repairs own home

    Walter Raderstorf can still remember sitting in his living room inside his home on West Park Avenue, realizing he had escaped a brush with death. “I was in the basement carrying stuff up and I came in here and sat down,” he said. “It wasn’t 30 second

    April 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • Late Kokomo teacher dedicates estate to foundation Longtime Kokomo School Corp. teacher Holly Kirkpatrick will continue to have a positive impact on students thanks to a $38,000 donation from her estate to the Kokomo Public Schools Education Foundation. Kirkpatrick died in November 2012 after teachin

    April 20, 2014

  • flood anniversary Thomas family ready to move on after flood In the Thomas household, few things take precedent over baseball. You’d be hard-pressed to find a couple more dedicated to youth baseball in Kokomo — or anywhere else for that matter — than Michael and Lashanda Thomas, who have passed that love of th

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries