Students pass welding certificates, earn college credits

Breanna Beck , Staff Reporter

“[Welding] showed me how hard work pays off,” said Keegan Blackburn (12).

  Within the last few weeks, a handful of welders went to ISU or CSI for welding certification. Students who participated were Lucas Hatch, Keegan Blackburn, Hayden Hobley, Reagan Reese, and Jaxon Finck. Certification consisted of a series of tests that, if passed, would indicate that the individual is qualified. Sections included an overhead weld, a vertical weld, and a horizontal weld. There was also a written test. 

 “If you get a job anywhere, it’s kind of like a degree,” said Reagan Reese (12), “ They know I’m educated and it’s proof that I can do it.”

  Even with years of welding experience, passing the certification was a welcome surprise for some.

 “I didn’t think I would [pass it],” Jaxon Finck (12) said. He has been welding since middle school.

  Hayden Hobley, welder for four years, was on the same page as Finck. He said, “[I was] pretty happy but kind of surprised.”

 On the other hand, Reese has been welding since only sophomore year and he started actually taking it seriously the beginning of junior year. He said, “It was expected [to pass certification]. I was really overjoyed.”

 Part of the package deal these students received with passing the certification was allowing them to get ten college credits at either ISU or CSI. They also would have the chance to take another short course at CSI which could gain them ten more credits. All of this would be for free.

 “[I’m most excited for] getting away from town for two months and experiencing college for free. All of my peers will be there too,” said Reese. He is planning on taking the courses at CSI and getting closer to his goal of becoming a welding engineer. “There are limitless things to do with [welding].”

 Welding has not just helped these students get this certification, but it has also taught them valuable lessons. Hatch has used his skills to help other individuals.

 “I’ve been able to do a lot of service projects for people,” he said.

 Blackburn and Hobley learned that accomplishing certain tasks took some hard work. Hobley said, “It’s definitely made me work harder than I normally do.”

 All in all, welding certification turned out to be a good experience for many of these students. Welding is sure to be in the future for a few of them.