SCHS students earn welding certifications through Ivy Tech

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Twelve regional high school students have earned their first professional welding certifications through Ivy Tech Community College’s partnerships with Madison Consolidated and Switzerland County school corporations.

The students are certified by the American Welding Society (AWS) in Shielded Metal Arc Welding, commonly referred to as “stick” welding. The AWS is the largest organization in America that certifies welders.

Switzerland County students who have earned certification are: Cory Cupp-Proffitt, Allen Jones, Drew Swim, Donald Scudder, Hunter Hoskins.

Madison Consolidated students who have earned certification are: Taylor Colwell, Isaac Kappes, Dezeray Neff, Amber Renecker, Josh Rowlett, Keith Sikes, and Darius Wilking.

Among the 12 students are two young women who are gaining valuable career skills and experience in a male-dominated field. Only about four-percent of workers in the welding trade nationwide are women, according to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Ivy Tech has partnered with the Switzerland County School Corporation and Madison Consolidated School Corporation to offer high school students the opportunity to complete a postsecondary credential – a 34-hour Technical Certificate in Industrial Technology with a Welding Technology Concentration – and three American Welding Society certifications. The partnership launched this school year with five Switzerland County and seven Madison students participating.

Students start the two-year program during their junior year and attend Ivy Tech Madison three hours per day, 5 days per week over the two-year period. The certifications they can earn include Shielded Metal Arc Welding, commonly referred to as Stick/ARC welding; Gas Metal Arc Welding, commonly referred to as MIG welding; and Gas Tungsten Arc Welding, commonly referred to as TIG Welding.

The Indiana Department of Workforce Development estimates that more than 400 welding and welding-related jobs will need to be filled by 2024 in Indiana Economic Growth Region 9, which includes Switzerland and Jefferson counties. Most of those jobs will require a high school diploma and some college, such as a postsecondary certificate.

Welding certifications are designed to ensure the welders’ skills are up to the code they will be working under and are also documented to prove that the welder is qualified under that code. “Stick” welding is among the most widely used welding processes.

As the Madison and Switzerland County students continue to hone their skills, they should be certified in MIG welding, their second AWS certification, by the end of the school year.