The Way We Work: Welding Community Ties

Work is a huge part of who we are. It forms part of our identity, it keeps us busy and it provides for our families. In preparation for the upcoming Smithsonian exhibit “The Way We Worked”at the High Plains Museum, we would like to share a series of local work stories.

Sherman County supports a healthy agricultural community, one that involves all manner of work in relation to farming. From fertilizer suppliers and equipment sales, to coffee shops and hardware, Goodland has it covered for Ag needs. One such business helping out farmers (and many others in need), is Nemechek Welding.

HPM | Bryant and Melissa Nemechek pose in the office of Nemechek Welding.

Nemechek Welding has been in operation since June 2011 and is owned by Bryant Nemechek, a Sherman County native. He grew up around Ag and has stayed connected to it throughout his life. Bryant started out with a part-time mobile service in 2008 and has since expanded to a full time operation with a staff of two. Operating out of his workshop on 403 East 19th, Bryant and his crew—wife Melissa and welder John Buckner—work on demand (with set hours from 7:30 AM to 5:00 PM), servicing a 120 mile radius.

Bryant and his crew can weld anything from high profile jobs like taking down and putting back up Goodland’s Big Easel or welding Kelly Clarkson’s mobile catering trailer into working shape, to smaller jobs like fixing up farm machinery onsite or in his shop. Nemechek Welding is busiest in the summer and during Harvest, but a typical day in the shop is unpredictable and consists of handling whatever call or job comes into the shop.

HPM | Welder John Buckner works on an implement.

“Despite new technology and updated equipment our work stays the same,” said Bryant. True enough, welding technology is relatively simple work. To increase their business capacity Bryant is R Stamp Certified—meaning that he has gone through a rigorous authorization process for the R Stamp type of welding which ensures a safe and reliable repair of pressure vessels. Bryant’s goal is to expand his customer base and getting certified in different welding processes is part of that. “We work in a great environment with a steady stream of good customers,” commented Bryant, “but we would like to broaden our customer base.”

What Bryant enjoys most about his work is being the boss of his own business and getting out of the shop to fix equipment in the field. Beyond his passion for Ag, Bryant is connected to the community through his service as a firefighter, his past role as a welding instructor at Northwest Kansas Technical College, and his instrumental role in re-launching the Big Easel, Goodland’s public art sculpture.

HPM | An interior view of the Nemechek Welding building.

Nemechek Welding is a busy place and one that is working happily in the service of our agricultural community. You can find out more about Bryant and his services online at: http://www.nemechekwelding.com. A lot of work has gone into setting up his business and in talking to Bryant one can definitely hear the pride and commitment in his work.

Look for more articles in this series about the way Goodland folks work. Tell us your own work story online or on our Facebook page and mark December 15th on your calendar to see how Americans have worked over the decades at “The Way We Worked” Smithsonian exhibit.

“The Way We Worked” Kansas tour is sponsored by the Kansas Humanities Council in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum on Main Street program. Support for “The Way We Worked” Kansas tour has been provided by the Ross and Marianna Beach Foundation, the Western Kansas Community Foundation, and Jostens. Support for Museum on Main Street has been provided by the United States Congress. To find out more information visit the High Plains Museum and find us online (highplainsmuseum.org).

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