Welding at American River College

Welding at American River College


In the process of me trying to get work doing
metal fabrication, my skills were lacking a little bit, and so I decided to come to
school and take advantage of the program. I had heard a lot about it and I had heard
they had well-respected instructors here. It was kind of a no-brainer. I had considered
a few private school options, but there aren’t that many in the area. It pays off in the long run because you can
get in and you can get out. You don’t have to go for four years for a degree and still
go do specialty training on top of it. I’m Mark Reese. I’m the Welding Department
Chair here at American River College and I teach many of the welding courses. We cover
the four basic processes. So the gas metal arc welding known as MIG. We run the SMAW,
the stick welding. We do gas tungsten arc welding, and we also have the flux core. [Assistant talking]
See, you bend it. And we’re just seeing if we find any cracks or openings, but since
it just curved, it’s a good weld. We have a welding inspection course, which
covers looking at welds and measuring tools. And we’ve also started the non-destructive
testing which goes over the basic theory, but also the hands-on, the utilization of
the equipment. There’s a lot of theory in welding. There’s
a lot of sciences involved. And the lecture portion is really good to kinda learn some
of the concepts behind how welding works. And then the lab portion is the most important
part because welding is so hands-on and you really have to see and hear and feel everything. This was my first time welding when I came
to this program. And whenever I had a question, I just brought my weld to them and was, like,
“What am I doing wrong?” or, “How does this look?” And they would always just tell me,
“Boom, boom, boom, do this, this, change this.” Or they come in your booth and watch
you weld. I like the instructors here because they’re
here for the students and the betterment of the welding industry. [Instructor helping in welding booth]
And then you angle in because the arc has a force, a push. So what I’m doing with
this is I’m trying to keep that arc… The instructors that they have here are very
knowledgeable in this field, and they are wide open to share that information with the
students. They’re just super helpful, just really approachable for any problem you’ve had. The teacher goes around to everyone’s booth
to check on them to see how their progress is going, to give them tips if they see anything
they might be doing wrong. We have one instructor that’s a hands-on
guy. He’ll actually grab your hand while you’re welding and say, “Let’s go!”
So that’s unique, you don’t see that quite often. You hold their hands—it’s ok, you’ve
got gloves on–and you actually make a weld with them. They get to see it. You talk ‘em
through while you’re going so they actually feel the motions. Because welding is one of
these things where a very small change can make a huge, HUGE difference. And so a student
watching you weld may not pick up on these fine points. We’re going booth to booth
helping students out individually for where they’re at to get them up to that next point. The welding machines that we have right now
are mainly Lincoln and Miller. We don’t go with one brand because what is the student
going to use out there? We don’t have one particular type of welding machine. We have
many different types. Where trying to align with industry. We want to know what do they
have? What are they using? That’s what we want to bring in here for the students to
learn. We work with a number of different machines
here in the shop and it enables me to get ready for industry and what they have out
there. In fact we even often offer a machine repair
class where the students can learn how to get inside the machine, diagnose it, repair
it, and get it working again which is very helpful. Just to go out and get a job, it’s not as
easy as it sounds. It’s really not. Because they’re just going to tell you to turn around and
go to school anyway. They’re going to ask you to go get certifications of some sort. Welding certificates here are optional. It doesn’t
require getting certified, but it is an industry need. We’re an accredited test facility
with the American Welding Society, so we can proctor the exams for them. There are internship opportunities in the
welding. In fact we’re setting up a collaboration right now with Siemens, they build the light
rail systems here, and they have a lot of work. And we’re looking at helping them
to train their personnel. The students can get to know the company. The company can get
to know the students. And they are seriously looking at us as providers for training. PG&E
has done the same thing. Once you’re here it’s a family atmosphere.
We all take care of one another, and we encourage one another to grow. I like when the student gets it. That you
see them struggling, you help them out a little bit, they come out with just a fantastic looking
weld after that. And that’s from doing that hands-on with them. The people and the instructors are all really
great they’re so friendly. Everyone’s really close. All the people are amazing. All the students
are awesome. Every class is just so much fun. Come burn some rod with us. Come weld. Come
learn the trade. Come learn the skill. If you’re mechanically inclined at all, this
is definitely a good field to get into.

2 thoughts on “Welding at American River College

  1. Right on! Fantastic video! Great to see ARC getting the welding program out there with social media! Sharing this with all of my friends!

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