GNTC | Welding and Joining Technology at Georgia Northwestern Technical College

GNTC | Welding and Joining Technology at Georgia Northwestern Technical College


(Announcer)
Welding is a major part of virtually all manufacturing, construction, repair, and processing industries.
It is a necessary function in the creation of all vehicles, buildings, bridges, pipelines,
planes, boats, rockets and much more. The Welding and Joining Program at Georgia Northwestern
Technical College prepares students for the welding industry by providing practical experience
for any area of expertise a welder may choose. (Joe Burrage)
We take people and train them through all aspects of welding to put out a real good
beginning level welder. . there’s a lot of people that come through the class that are
very good welders that you wouldn’t think would ever be in the field. We get several
women in the class, they’re real good welders. . Well we’ve got all the machines. We’ve got
the TIG, MIG, and Stick machines. We’ve got some of the new inverters, some of the older
machines as well. . . so they’ve got the idea of all the machines they may run into. (Announcer)
Joe Burrage is the Program Director for the Welding and Joining Program at Georgia Northwestern
Technical College, and the Instructor at the Floyd County Campus. Joe says that the program
utilizes not only the same equipment as the Welding Industry but also the same techniques
and working conditions. (Joe Burrage)
Well they get to learn to run all the tools that they may run into, all the hand tools,
how to protect themselves away from getting hurt with all the tools . . . We try to make
it as real life as you can get. We do a lot of pipe test where the students are not only
having to weld test for us, but they’re having to do it under the table, backwards, some
of them even need a mirror on occasion, but that’s what they are going to run into out
in the field so that’s what we try to do in here. (Jason Pickard)
We do a lot with the local industries around the Chattanooga, Ringgold, Rossville area.
I’ve actually been getting with them for the past two, three years that I’ve been here
trying to learn the new methods that their wanting in their industries. . .We change
with the companies. (Announcer)
Jason Pickard is the Instructor of Welding and Joining Technology at the Walker County
Campus of Georgia Northwestern Technical College. According to Jason, safety takes top priority
given the nature of the work. (Jason Pickard)
Here at Georgia Northwestern, as far as with the welding program, we take safety very,
very highly. That’s one of my main concerns in the students teaching them the safety that
they need before they do anything, and that’s one thing that we implement to bring out the
best quality in the welder. (Announcer)
One student that brought out his best quality is Drew Swafford. He won a gold medal in welding
at the SkillsUSA Georgia State Leadership and Skills Conference in Atlanta. Drew competed
against students from other technical colleges across Georgia. The competition allowed Drew
to use the skills and experience that he gained from GNTC and apply them to a project that
is based on welding industry standards. (Drew Swafford)
They gave us a blueprint, a stack of metal, and a time limit and told us we had two hours
to build what they wanted, how they wanted it, the size of beads they wanted, the position
they wanted us to weld it . . . coming here has helped me prepare cause I already experienced
most of the things we had to do up there while coming to school here. . . To me welding is
just different from everything else, because you can either weld or you can’t weld there’s
no way you can half way get by with it. (Announcer)
According to the Department of Labor, the average annual starting salary for a Welder
is $37,920 and the pay goes up much higher for individuals willing to travel. (Joe Barrage)
You can make upwards of 30 or 40 dollars an hour some places, depends on where you go. (Jason Pickard)
Welding is a very well paying job. Right now it’s a big call for welders and that’s what
we want to try to do is get those students ready for that field before they leave so
they can make that good living. (Announcer)
Welding is a skill used by many industries and virtually everything around us was created
in part by welding. It is a career path that offers more choices and advancement opportunities
than many other fields. (Drew Swafford)
I’ve been to Skills USA, seen all the other colleges . . . and nobody holds up to Georgia
Northwestern for me . . It’s just the best college out there, I think. (Announcer)
To find out more about GNTC’s Welding and Joining program, visit our website or give
us a call for more information

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