By Nathan Prewett
North Jefferson News
Students from different schools in Alabama recently participated in a welding competition at Gardendale High School.
The 2012 SkillUSA welding contest was held with 20 students and instructors from 12 districts competing for the state championship. The state championship will eventually lead to a national championship.
The contest took place inside a welding and auto-body facility that stands next to the school. Tables were set with slabs of scrap metal that served different procedures in welding.
Among the procedures were TIG (tungsten inert gas), SMAW (shielded metal arc), GMAW (gas metal arc), flux core and others.
In addition to Gardendale, other students came from Minor, Shades Valley, Wenonah, Cullman, Elmore, Randolph/Roanoake, Talladega, Walker County Center of Technology, W.A. Lecroy Career Tech Center and Bessemer Center for Technology.
The student from Gardendale was Justin Foshee, who worked with the GMAW procedure. Tim Turner is the welding instructor at Gardendale High.
“A student that takes the program seriously can come in and get certified and they can work here in the United States,” said Turner on opportunities for students who are interested in welding. “The welding industry is huge.”
The competition at Gardendale was one of several that took place. Alabama SkillsUSA held contests for colleges at Wallace State Community College in Hanceville on April 20, and at United Association Local 572 in Tuscaloosa on April 25.
The judges were Bart Maddox of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers Local 92, David Mcmahan of Lincoln Electric, Bradley Baugher of Plumbers and Steamfitters and Tommy Cox, a welding inspector.
Stevan Cornelison of the Earnest Pruett Center of Technology was announced as the winner.
SkillsUSA is not just for welding, but hosts competitions for a variety of skills, including fire fighting, masonry, advertising design and photography.
The national championship will take place next June in Kentucky.