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Tech Talk

Tidewater Tech Graduate Spotlight: Ralph Blackman

Written by Evan Kee, Career Services Coordinator

Ralph BlackmanRalph Blackman was born and raised in Norfolk, Virginia. He comes from a family of shipyard workers, and always knew he was destined to be a welder. He has always wanted to do something with his hands that would present a challenge. After seeing commercials for Tidewater Tech, and watching the movie Iron Man, he decided it was time to take a leap, and pursue an education. This decision, he states, was, “One of the best decisions he’s ever made, and a gift from the Man above.”

Ralph said that the welding program challenged him at times, but he never lost faith. He made sure to build relationships with as many students, instructors, and staff members as he could, and credits the entire school community for motivating him, and giving him the confidence needed to complete the program. His advice for students who are thinking about quitting is, “if you feel it’s meant for you, keep faith and keep pushing forward. Believe in yourself and don’t give up.”

Since graduating from the program, Ralph has gained employment working as a Fire Watch for Huntington Ingalls Industries, Inc.’s Fleet Support Group. He hopes to become a successful welder, make good money, and eventually come back to Tidewater Tech as an instructor. He feels led to teach, and motivate others, in the same way that his instructors and support staff did for him. He thanks Tidewater Tech for making him what he is today, and he looks forward to seeing the school and staff in the future!

About Tidewater Tech

Tidewater Tech is a career training school that specializes in trade vocations including Auto Technician, Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC), Building Maintenance and Repair and Welding. The school offers professional facilities, knowledgeable instructors, day or evening classes, and job placement assistance. Learn more at


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