Nine students from the Welding department will take the National Boiler and Tube test April 29-30. Successful completion of the two-part test will allow the students to qualify as a certified welder and receive direct job offers with salaries ranging from $20-$30 an hour or $110-$134 per diem. Gadsden State Community College is one of only two schools in the Southeast Region to be selected for this opportunity.
Students taking the tests are: Josa Adame, Luis Adame, Brittany Holcomb, Efrian Lozada, and Jake Wilks (Ft. Payne), Seth Bryant (Henagar), Michael Elliott (Pell City), Brett Johnson (Gadsden), and Angel Sanchez (Collinsville). The test will be conducted by National Boiler Service of Trenton, Georgia, a national contractor specializing in critical services for industrial boilers. The company is responsible for certification in 39 states. Company representatives visited all of the technical colleges in the Southeast region in search of programs that met the qualifications to train and certify advanced industrial welders. Gadsden State along with a school in North Carolina, were the only two that met the qualifications.
The company will bring a testing Simulator to Gadsden State’s East Broad Campus, along with their own administrators and Quality Control experts. If the students pass the first test (Pipe test), they are automatically qualified as certified welders, and are given a direct job offer. Students have to pass this test in order to have the opportunity to take the second test, involving MIG and Flux welding. Successful completion of the second test would allow students to be more technically qualified, and give them greater employment opportunities.
According to Darren McCray (one of three welding instructors at GSCC), “Along with your certification, it’s important to get that first three years of experience. Big companies are looking for skilled workers with 3-5 years of experience, so my advice regarding jobs is to take what’s available to get the experience. It will pay off later.”
“The Welding department is only one of the many technical programs at Gadsden State doing a tremendous job of preparing craftsmen to meet the ongoing need for a skilled workforce,” added Tim Green, dean of technical education and workforce development.