Meet our new welder Mya Jones
Mya Jones is the newest member of the welding team at Axenics. She began full-time with us after graduating from Greater Lowell Technical High School with a focus on metal fabrication. Mya began welding in her sophomore year.
“At first, welding wasn’t something I thought I was going to do professionally. It was something I jumped into because a lot of my friends were in the shop. They convinced me to join the school. I went to a public school, but didn’t really like it much,” Mya said. “It turns out, I was really good at welding.”
A family business
It also turned out Mya had three cousins in the shop at Greater Lowell Technical High School. Two of her uncles are welders and her dad used to be a welder.
“It was a family thing that I didn’t realize was such a family thing up until I joined the shop. I was like, ‘Oh, great, guys, were you not going to let me in on it?’” Mya laughed. Her Dad is proud of his “blue collar” daughter, she added.
From painting to welding
Mya’s interest in art helped inform her welding skills.
“I like drawing and painting, and it’s similar to using a TIG welding torch. I relate it to using a paintbrush. It has similar hand movements and wrist movements,” Mya said. “I found solace in welding.”
Precision is key in TIG welding, where there’s no room for error. At school, Mya started with MIG welding before moving on to TIG.
We started with the automatic welding process; then we moved on to stick welding. And then TIG, because TIG is technically the most difficult to learn, but I found it the easiest out of the bunch,” Mya said. “Maybe because it was kind of like using a paintbrush. The welding torch fit my hand a little bit better than all the others. Having an artistic background was helpful in the shop.”
She added, “I’m good with my eyes when it comes to angles and measurements, which definitely helps, considering a lot of this work is very specific to angles and tolerances. I used to actually correct my shop teacher on that. He didn’t necessarily like it.”
Hit the floor running
At Lowell, Mya was quickly introduced to life on the shop floor.
“They put tools in our hands before we get taught any of the actual science around it. I learned how to lay down a bead before I knew what was going on when I was laying down the bead,” she said.
To start, she worked with mainly mild steel, cold rolled steel and sometimes aluminum. Stainless steel was rare to fabricate in class because it’s more expensive.
“We didn’t have a lot of it, and kids really liked how shiny it was, so they just took it and hid it. I was in a shop full of crows,” she laughed.
Landing at Axenics
“My senior year shop teacher, Mr. Kaz, I walked up to him one day, and I was like, ‘Kaz, listen, I have a license. I know how to weld. Give me a job. And he sent me over here, which was actually a godsend, because this is exactly what I want to be doing,” Mya said.
Mya started on large production projects here, expanding her technique and knowledge of heat control. After a couple months, she was tube welding.
“Mya immediately fit well into the team,” said Dan Reynolds, General Manager. “Her welding skills improve every day and I can see her doing whatever she wants to do in metals in the future.”
Fast-forward 10 years, Mya envisions herself working in Motocross.
“I want to start with exhaust systems, and move on to roll cages and body work headers,” she said.
In the meantime, the machinery she hasn’t yet used at Axenics will help prepare her for a future in Motocross.
“I don’t feel weird about asking questions if I don’t know something,” Mya said. “The people here are great, easy to talk to and super friendly.”