White’s Residential and Family Services has partnered with Heartland Career Center to provide students with a 6-week welding program. The program is an introduction to welding safety and practice and is set up to give students the basic skills and safety knowledge to complete entry level welds. Four WRFS students completed the first cohort offered. During the course they were introduced to both gas metal arc welding (MIG) and shielded metal arc welding (ARC) processes.
The students worked toward a final project that will benefit the community, welding together part of a recycling bin. Jack Holley, Heartland Career Center welding instructor, said this about the project and career path for the students, “I believe this project will bring it all together and really give them something they could be proud of and take this great experience with them when they leave WRFS. I really believe that they have gained a great skill set that can open the doors for them once they are out of school.”
One student commented that he comes from a family of construction workers, he knows the difference between ARC and MIG welding. He has realized he’s attracted to ARC welding and the lifestyle that can go along with it. He loved the four hours a day he was able to devote to honing his skills through Growing Teens for Life and the Heartland Career Center’s welding program. “Welding is a good job,” he said.
“We are hoping to offer this program three or four times per year. Our end goal is to have an AWS certification attached to the program,” added Kenny Harvey, Director of Experiential Learning and HSE Coordinator.