By Greg Bird
14 students earned their gas metal arc welding certification last week as part of a new adult-education program offered at McCreary Central High School.
Partnering with Somerset Community College’s Workforce Solutions Department and the Lake Cumberland Area Development District, the school was able to purchase and install new equipment in the vocational education wing, paving the way for providing work-ready skills training for individuals seeking a new career.
The Gas Metal Arc Welding program is designed to provide students with training that can translate directly in to the job market.
Instructor Scott Johnson said the first 8-week program went extremely well, with most of the students earning a 2G certification, and others a 3G. (2G and 3G are levels of certification indicating training and ability of the welder.)
“We start with the basics – the set up of the machine, safety and carrying a continuous bead, then we move on to joint welding and the bonding of metal,” Johnson said. “It is a very intense class, but I am very proud of them – they have been successful, without a doubt.”
Though only lasting two months, students are treated to an intensive program designed to provide a high level of training and instruction to quickly get the students ready for the workforce.
“Welding is a career,” Johnson said. “For this area, the market is world wide. They can take these skills right in to the workforce and get a job.”
“Some students who come here already have a background, and some have none. I am so amazed at where they have come from.”
“For an 8-week course getting a 2G is a great accomplishment,” he added. “The techniques you gain from that one carry on to each welding position that you do.”
Last week the class held their last session, presenting certificates to graduates and a cookout to celebrate the success.
The program also opened up opportunities for McCreary Central students themselves.
Starting last January students were able to take part in a class teaching many of the same skills and techniques as in the adult program.
Some students even qualified for their 2G certification as well.
The program offered several benefits for the students. In addition to workforce training – getting welding skills that can be directly applied in the job market; students wishing to continue on to college earned credits as part of the dual-credit status of the class.
The next adult course is slated to begin on October 16 and will run through early December. The cost for the program is $950.
For more information please call (606) 451-6797.