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Welding Competition Showcases Area's Best Technical Talent


(Huntsville, Alabama) – In late October, welding students from across northern Alabama gathered at J.F. Drake State Community and Technical College to compete in Drake State’s Regional Welding Competition. Students from various counties in the Northern Alabama region descended upon the college to showcase the best of their work at the fourth annual event.

A panel of judges comprised of industry professionals and members of the Drake State welding department rated the student’s welding skills in the following categories: appearance of finished product, following of safety procedures, and reading of blueprints. Contestants welded on aluminum GTAW, steel GMAW and steel SMAW.

Participants from Earnest Pruett Center of Technology, Madison County Career Technical Center, Lawrence County Center of Technology along with AP Brewer High School competed in the event.

Earnest Pruett Center of Technology students were once again the big winners of the day. Jonathan Griffin, Cody Hill, and Joseph Bevill placed first, second, and third respectively in the advanced category.

In the beginner level, Lane Jones from Pruett Center of Technology took first place, while Race Laney and Colton Murdock, both from Dekalb County Center of Technology took second and third place, respectively.

District winners were Katherine Longmore, Matthew Murphree, and Aaron Roeske, all Drake State students, who placed in first, second and third places, accordingly.

Mr. Ryan Green, Instructor of Welding at Drake State, organized the event aimed at providing a forum for area students to display their welding skills at the recently renovated, state-of-the-art welding facility at Drake State’s main campus in Huntsville.

“This is also a great opportunity for the students to learn about Drake State as an option to further their education in this trade, “said Mr. Green. Many current Drake State welders-in-training were first introduced to the college through this competition.

Welding offers high-paying career opportunities at both a local and national level with demand for these technicians often exceeding the supply of workers, according the Department of Labor. Technical training programs such as the one offered at Drake State help to foster the interest in the trade and provide students with the proficiency level that enables employers to comfortably bring on program graduates.

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