Have you ever wanted to learn how to tack some metal or run a bead?
Area high school students and other interested individuals from the local community had an opportunity to experience that and other facets of the science of burning steel (welding) during a recent open house co-hosted by Tri-County Community College and Interstate Welding in Marble.
During this open house participants had a chance to view the latest welding and cutting equipment; participate in hands-on demonstrations, witness a live oxy acetylene cutting and safety demonstration conducted by Miller Electric Manufacturing, and had the opportunity to talk with factory representatives from various other firms that serve the welding industry.
Over 30 students from Murphy, Towns County, Nantahala, and Hiwassee Dam high schools had the opportunity to experience first-hand the various demonstrations and exhibits.
Tri-County Community College had four instructors, from their Peachtree and Graham County locations, and 46 welding school students that also attended the event.
The interest and large turn-out at this unique open house is indicative of a growth industry with a lot of opportunities for employment. According to recent industry surveys, the average age of welding professionals is 56 years old – that’s right, baby boomers and they’re about to retire!
Over the next five years, not considering retirement or attrition combined, the welding industry is expected to grow by about 240,000 jobs. This will place the number of people working in this industry at about 625,000 in 2019.
“This was a great opportunity for high school students and others who were interested in a welding career to learn if it is right for them,” said Jason Penley, Welding Instructor on the TCCC Campus in Peachtree. “Participants got to try out different machines, cutting torches, and experience first-hand what is like to be a welder.”
If you are interested in the field of welding, Tri-County Community College offers a comprehensive, welding technology program leading to a diploma. For more information contact the College at (828) 837-6810 or visit their website at tricountycc.edu.
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