Tough as Nails

Lincoln Electric employee competes in welding competition

Linnett Key, a Lincoln Electric employee, has a gratifying story of perseverance and hope. Key went to Lecanto, Fla., to pursue a job, where she was initially declined and ended up homeless, at risk of losing custody of her four children. Upon seeing an advertisement for a welding course, she tried her hand at the trade. Preliminary training procedures were all she (and Lincoln) needed to quickly realize she had a natural talent that could change her life. Last night, this realization came to an apex when Key competed on national television in first episode of the Tough as Nails reality competition show (CBS), “Redefining Toughness/Get the Job Done”.

As both a female and minority in a male-dominated industry with limited diversity, Linnett’s drive stems from being constantly underestimated and overlooked. She works at Lincoln Electric full-time…and also works a second job.

Linnett’s bio, included on the show’s website, includes self-descriptions of “passionate, resilient, motivated”. Here’s the rest of it:

What is a typical day like for you?
I wake up at 4:00 AM, drive one and a half hours to work, work from 6:00 AM until 5:30 PM,
and then I drive 45 minutes to my second job. I make it home around 10:00 PM after going to the
grocery store. Then cook dinner, eat by 11:00 PM, bed by 11:30 PM and then I do it all again the
next day.

What would people be surprised to learn about your job?
My job consists of grinding, torching, fabricating, and other functions. I paint and set concrete
and read and write blueprints.

What work related build/structure or event are you most proud of?
My most proud build is a water truck built from scratch without any leaks.

Who are you competing for?
I am competing for my family, my children, and me.

Describe the phrase “dirty hands, clean money”:
My work is considered dirty because I deal with being in the dirtiest elements yet it is a legit job
that pays well.

Why do you want to win?
I want to change my family’s financial means which will eventually lead to me being able to help
others push to succeed in life.

What makes you tough as nails?
I am a single mom of four working two jobs, 16 hour days, and working in an environment that
takes a lot of physical and mental strength daily.

Tough As Nails will air throughout the rest of the summer on CBS cable during prime time, at 9:00 EST on Wednesday nights. The show is also available to stream online if you have CBS All Access. Lincoln Electric, coincidentally, celebrates 125 years in 2020. No offense to the other candidates, but we know who we’re rooting for.

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