Wallace-Oneonta welding ready to grow



Students David West, John Hand, Caleb Smith, and Logan Davis and instructor Chris Posey present Dr. Kelley Jones with two lamps made by the students.

Students David West, John Hand, Caleb Smith, and Logan Davis and instructor Chris Posey present Dr. Kelley Jones with two lamps made by the students.

The Wallace State Community College spring semester ends this week and marks the completion of the first semester of welding classes for the school at its Oneonta campus.

Chris Posey of Nectar is the instructor. He said to complete the certification program will take four semesters, but if a student also wants to earn an associate degree, it will take five to six. By the time they are finished, the students will know most types of welding for all metals for both structural and pipe.

Posey wants to grow the program, pointing out he has 10 welding work stations, but only four students. He hopes word will get around about the quality training facility at the school. The school’s shop is an accredited testing facility for both the American Welding Society (AWS) and the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER). These certifications let potential employers know a worker is properly trained. Dr. Kelley Jones, the director of the Oneonta campus, said one employer has already inquired about hiring certified welders.

Logan Davis, a student from Snead, praised the program. Davis took advantage of dual enrollment while in high school, which allowed him to earn college credits towards his associate degree. Another student and U.S. Army veteran, John Hand, said he appreciates the amount of time he has for hands-on welding. The key to good welding is, he said, “muscle memory” and “the only way to get better is to keep running beads.” To a welder, a bead is the molten metal used to hold or fuse metals together.

Posey and all the students said they are grateful to Art Iron Works of Oneonta because the company has donated the metal used in the welding classes.

Registration for the summer semester has already started. Prospective students can register on-line, inquire about admission policy, financial aid and/or dual enrollment at www.wallacestate.edu or by calling Wallace State’s main campus in Hanceville at 1-866-350-9722.