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Students in the welding classes at GCTC love to get in the workshop and work “from bell to bell.” They love to work because the welding instructor, Mr. Robinson, teaches them the right way to weld and then lets them work on their own projects. He encourages creativity, whether they’re building a deer stand, a work table, or their own design.

At the same time, students learn a variety of techniques that will help them find well-paying jobs right out of high school. The class curriculum is provided by the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER), which is the training, assessment, certification and career development standard for the construction and maintenance craft professional.

The first-year class, Welding I, focuses on shielded metal arc welding. Students learn the fundamentals of oxy-fuel cutting methods as well as equipment use, set-up, safety measures, and correct welding techniques.

In year two, Welding II, students focus on specialized welding techniques including plasma arc cutting, carbon arc cutting, and brazing. These custom techniques add to their proficiency and make them more attractive hires if they decide to pursue welding as a career.

Mr. Robinson prides his shop on having the actual equipment that students would see if they were working on a professional job site. Local industry Modine recently helped refurbish the shop. When they mentioned to GCTC that they were hiring specialized welders, the brazing technique became a key component of the welding class curriculum. Now students can go straight to work locally with a highly specialized skill.

The welding program at GCTC is one of the cornerstones to Grenada High School’s Middle College. Beginning in 2023-24, students who seek a more direct path to the workforce may start to earn three levels of certification in welding. They may opt to take the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) exam to earn certification in welding, advanced certification training, or an Associate of Applied Science degree in welding. The higher a student aims, the more likely he or she will enter the labor pool with the same industry qualifications of someone who has already worked in the field. 

Instructor: Landon Hentz