By Shirley Shuman
On Monday, March 21, senior welding students from instructor Chris Cunningham’s welding classes toured two sites in Ohio to observe various activities related to welding. Their first stop was at Lincoln Electric in Cleveland Ohio. They also stopped at Lakeside Community College where they actually participated in a welding class.
Lincoln Electric, established in 1895, has grown from a small company owned by two brothers to a premier company which offers, among its many facets, a highly regarded welding school. Instructor Cunningham referred to it as “the best welding school in the country” and explained that admission has only two requirements. Prospective students must be 18 and must pass the company’s welding test.
The welding instructor, asked whether he felt the trip was a success, responded with a definite “Yes” and went on to explain one of the main purposes of the trip.
“I wanted their eyes to be opened to the fact that there are plenty of opportunities for them in other areas,” he said.
Touring Lincoln Electric proved to be a fascinating experience for most of the students making the trip. Anthony Godwin said the trip was definitely worthwhile “just for the experience we got.” He added, “I’ve never seen such an amazing place [as Lincoln Electric]. Just seeing where I can go with welding, and all that we can do.” Godwin was especially interested in the visual welding machine. “They had a visual welding machine, a kind of video machine. It was like welding in reality but was actually a video game,” he noted. Godwin also enjoyed stopping at Lakeland Community College.
Tristan Glover called the stop at Lakeland Community College “the best part of the trip.” In addition to listening to a classroom lecture by Braxton native Ryan Eubanks, Glover said they “got to weld with another friend” in the college’s welding lab. Regarding the whole trip, this student said he was most impressed by “how much stuff we’ve missed out on, like the virtual reality computer so we can see what we’re working on.”
What impressed Chasen Nottingham most was “watching everything and how they go together, how they made the welding and then saw it in use.” The most valuable part of the trip for Nottingham was visiting Lakeside Community College. “The instructor showed how they weld up there. It was also more hands on, and the instructor was interesting.”
Braxton’s welding instructor and the seniors on the trip all agreed that the experience was definitely worthwhile. Instructor Cunningham, noted that at Lincoln Electric, references to “engineers” and “engineering” were frequent, and he feels certain that next year’s trip will include students in the advanced engineering class.