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BC welding certification day offers opportunities for students

BC welding certification day offers opportunities for students

Thu Jun 7, 2018

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Students, volunteers, staff and community members pose for a photo recently during the Brazosport College Welding Certification Day. A total of 99 awards were earned, the highest number in the event’s five-year history.

Brazosport College’s fifth-annual welding certification event recently recorded its highest attendance to date, with many students earning American Welding Society (AWS) certificates.

This year’s event was attended by junior and senior high school students from Angleton, Brazosport, Brazoswood, B.F. Terry, Columbia-Brazoria, Foster, Fulshear, George Ranch, Lamar and Sweeny high schools. A total of 99 awards were earned, a record number for the event.

Students had the opportunity to test in one of four positions: 1G-flat, 2G-horizontal, 3G-vertical or 4G-overhead. Students went through three stations for inspection of their welds, including visual inspection, X-ray and Ultrasonic Inspection (UT) or Liquid Penetrant Inspection (PT).

While the day provided students an opportunity to earn AWS recognition for welds, it also provided exposure to realistic testing for welding standards.

“My students did not really understand how serious the outside welding world expected them to be about the quality of their welds, until they experienced having to weld in front of true industry-certified welding inspectors,” said Robert Woodruff, welding teacher at Angleton High School. “Now, my students take welding more seriously. They tell the up-and-coming welding students, ‘You better bring your ‘A’ game, because these inspectors do not play.’

“This experience also helped these students to know what to expect and not be as nervous when they step into the working world,” he added.

House Bill 22 amended the Texas Education Code to adopt a set of indicators to evaluate school districts, ensuring students gain skills to prepare them for entering the workforce, the military or postsecondary education. All the certifications earned at the Brazosport Welding Certification event will be in the ISD Accountability Reporting. 

“Brazosport College is excited to be a part of this community-wide partnership that allows high school students to begin building a foundation toward their career paths,” said Beth Cassidy, Brazosport College Director of Workforce Development and School Partnerships. “Our community and industry partners are very supportive of these students and what is being accomplished here. The fact that it adds to the district’s Accountability Report is a plus.”

This event was offered free to all participating students, with students arriving at 8 a.m. and testing until 3 p.m.  The inspections and non-destructive testing were provided by local welding services NDIC and Versa Integrity; volunteer time was given by certified welding inspectors from Zachry, Performance Contractors and Tri-Con. Metal, rods and personal protective equipment were donated by local welding suppliers Mejia Equipment and Freeport Gas and Supply, allowing students to have the materials needed for testing free of charge.

Students, teachers and volunteers were also provided with a hot lunch and cold drinks, courtesy of Turner Industries, Lincoln Electric, Brock Services, Freeport Welding and Brazos Pipe & Steel.

For more information on Brazosport College or its welding program, call (979) 230-3000.