Welding hobby blossoms into a business | Highlands News-Sun | midfloridanewspapers.com

By DIEGO DE JESUS Staff Writer Apr 21, 2024

The Celentano family
The Celentano family, from left, William, Billy and Frank Celentano stand at the entrance of Will’s Welding before William begins his workday. The outside of the building was painted white, most of the inside still needs to be furnished before they are ready to open the doors for business.
Photo by Diego De Jesus/staff
William Celentano

William Celentano stands near his struck that he’s owned since he was 16 years old. When he established Will’s Welding, he wanted to only serve Highlands County.
Photo by Diego De Jesus/staff

Frank, William and Billy Celentano
Frank, William and Billy Celentano stand out front of Will’s Welding on North Ridgewood Drive in Sebring on April 18, a week before moving in is complete. Billy, William’s father, worked in car sales and has helped William establish his business.
Photo by Diego De Jesus/staff

William “Will” Celentano started experimenting with welding when he was 14 years old out of his father’s garage in Sebring.

When Will graduated from Sebring High School in 2020, he moved to Bradenton to enroll in Manatee Technical College. Schooling was less than a year, refining his skills he had gained from working freelance jobs for the community. Soon after graduating in November 2021, he started working as a welder at Pierce Manufacturing – a manufacturer that specializes in producing fire trucks.

“I worked there welding for two years, and I just decided to move back home to Sebring,” Will said. “It was time for me to come back and I decided I wanted to open my own business and I’ve been working down the street.”

Growing up, Will saw many others taking up welding as their full-time career and decided to take up the torch. It started off as a hobby, but it steadily grew into a passion of his that blossomed into what would become Will’s Welding.

Will has been working out of his father’s garage for the past eight months and building his reputation as a beneficial asset to the community. Opportunity struck when his uncle, Frank Celentano offered up a vacant property just down the street.

Frank and Billy, Will’s dad, have owned the property since 2010, throughout the years it’s been a mechanic repair shop but originally was a gas station in the late 1940s. They have had people from around Sebring come up to the property and share stories from way back when.

“We heard about people who are my age, who learned how to drive a car here back in the day when they were kids,” Billy said. “We’ve heard of one person that used to live back here in the back of the building years ago.”

The nostalgia of the building contributes to one of the many optimal qualities about the location just being down the road from the Sebring Circle. For Will, it offers an outdoor and office space to work but it’s also eye-catching with its white exterior on the corner of North Ridgewood Drive.

Currently, Will is still working out of his father’s garage and moving into the location with renovations just about done. He’ll be completely moved in within the coming week after three months of working on the building.

“Will’s trying to serve just Highlands County, he’s not trying to conquer the world,” Billy said. “He’s been doing a lot of smaller things for people and other stuff that people can’t get done. That’s a lot of what he’s been doing.”

Word-of-mouth out of Billy’s garage has greatly benefited Will establishing his business’ location.

Will’s Welding is located on 838 N. Ridgewood Dr., Sebring. He offers in-shop and mobile services throughout Highlands County and can be reached at 863-214-4663.

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