(RED OAK, Texas) – Texas State Technical College hosted over 300 students from 24 high schools at its North Texas campus for the Texas High School Welding Series competition on Friday, Oct. 27.
“We are thrilled that these students traveled to our campus to compete and learn more about the career opportunities at TSTC,” Marcus Balch, provost for TSTC’s North Texas campus, said. “These students with technical ability and skill are highly sought after by our industry partners, and we look forward to helping make those connections for these students.”
Page Bishop, the welding instructor at Red Oak High School, said these types of competitions offer students a way to get a leg up if they plan to join the welding industry following graduation.
“(These events) are very important,” he said. “(Students) accumulate the life skills for them to go into the working industry as welders.”
Josue Ramirez, a junior at Red Oak High School, said that to prepare for the competition he had challenged himself in practice.
“I used the smaller plates so it’d be harder on me, so whenever I came here, it would be easier to get in and out of the weld,” he said.
In addition to giving students a chance to put their welding skills to the test against those of other students, the event provided an opportunity for students to receive certificates, levels one through four.
In concept, this allows students to begin competing during their freshman year in an attempt to receive all four certificates by the time they graduate.
Sadie Carrell, a junior from Red Oak High School, said it was for this reason that she had been looking forward to Friday’s event.
“I’m wanting to get my certification because I want to be a welder when I (graduate from) high school, and this event would help to progress my skills and learn more.”
The level one certificate begins with a basic flat bead weld, and the requirements for the other certificates progressively get more advanced. Over 60 students received certificates at Friday’s event.
The top three students in each division received TSTC scholarships ranging from $500 to $2,000.
In total, over $273,000 in scholarships was offered from various event sponsors.
In addition to participating in the primary competition, students had the opportunity to compete in underwater welding and were offered tours of TSTC’s campus and programs.
Registration for TSTC’s spring semester is underway. For more information, go to tstc.edu.