20 Under 40: Charlie Gottschall maintains cool head as welding specialist
With more than a decade under his belt working for Tri-State Generation and Transmission, Charlie Gottschall has put in plentiful time adding to the energy sector of Northwest Colorado.
Specializing in welding, Gottschall has taken pride in the work he and his crews do, while also contributing to the betterment of the lives of friends and family while off the job.
In your chosen career field, how has the job evolved since you first began?
When I started back in 2007 at Craig Station, there was not even a thought of closing down. Now, we are constantly under attack from the environmentalists and the new legislation being passed.
How do you feel your line of work is different from someone in a similar job a generation before you?
Working in the coal industry feels like a constant uphill battle
today. Before, everyone depended on coal and knew it was part of their everyday
What kind of challenges do you feel like you and your coworkers will face in the next decade?
Challenges in the next decade we face is the closure of Craig Station. Everyone is going to have to adapt to that reality and find a new career path.
What is the most rewarding part of your job on a day-to-day basis?
The most rewarding part of my job is seeing everyone go home safe. Even with the news, everyone is still able to keep focused on their job.
If you hadn’t gone down your particular career path, what else would you have liked to do with your life?
I went to school to learn how to work on vehicles. I would probably still be doing that had I not got a job at the power plant.
What types of jobs would you avoid at all costs?
Telemarketing, I don’t think you’re liked by anyone.
How do you feel your work-life balance differs from those of your parents/grandparents?
Technology allows us to balance our work-life throughout the day. With our parents and grandparents, they were doing one or the other.
How do you feel everyday life is better or worse in 2020 with certain technology shifts?
With technology, everyday life is better today in the sense that we have all the answers at our fingertips. It’s pretty easy to be able to Google anything you need to know. But it’s worse because everyone is always looking at their phone.
What kind of strengths or weaknesses do you believe your generation brings to your career field?
A strength my generation brings to my career field is technology. The work smarter, not harder approach. This could also be a weakness for some. Not all of my generation knows what hard work is.
How do you feel your generation fits into Moffat County’s future?
The domino effect that will happen once the mines and the plant shut down won’t leave a lot of opportunity for employment in Moffat County. I feel unless there was another industry to come into town most of my generation will leave.
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The price tag for Xcel Energy closing all its Colorado coal-fired plants will be $1.4 billion spread over decades — a sum that will be paid exclusively by the utility’s residential and commercial customers.