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CAMBRIDGE -- The 12th annual “Weld Off” at Zane State’s Willett-Pratt Training Center in late April drew a large crowd of young people anxious to find out more about the college’s program of welding and fabrication, and to observe demonstrations of the latest welding and cutting technologies, especially Zane State’s new robotic welder and CNC plasma cutting. Attendees also had an opportunity to try the VRTEX 360, Lincoln Electric Co.’s virtual reality welding simulator.
Students at 10 area vocational schools and career centers were invited to compete for prizes and a chance to earn a certification from the American Welding Society. Each school was invited to send two students to the competition. Seven schools responded: Belmont Career Center, Buckeye Career Center, Harrison Career Center, Jefferson County Joint Vocational School, Knox County Career Center, Mid-East Career and Technology Centers and Wheeling Park High School. Thirteen contestants competed for dozens of prizes.
Judges for the event were adjunct welding instructors Danny Laudermilt, Ed Miller, Roberta Maxwell, and Deanna Duche, director of welding at Zane State.
Zane State College will file state certification papers on behalf of the contestants whose test assembly met the criteria of the American Welding Society’s Bridge Welding Code, with no cost to the contestant.
“Eleven students received at least one certification, six of them were certified in both positions. The criteria included welding a set of plates in the vertical and overhead position,” said Duche. “Technically referred to as the 3G and 4G position. The “G” means its is a groove weld.”
First place winner was Aaron Conrad from the Harrison County Career Center. Second place was Robert Kimble of Jefferson County JVS, and third place winner was Robert Nealy of the Buckeye Career Center.
Prizes included two torch sets, valued at approximately $500 each; welding helmets, several sets of tools needed for welding, a couple of starter kits with a hat, gloves, welding helmet and jacket, all in a very nice duffel bag. In addition to an assortment of welding tools and equipment.
Prize winners were allowed their choice of a gift rather than have the prizes pre-designated as first, second, third, etc.
The quality and generous number of prizes and material used by contestants were donated by 3B’s Welding, Air-Gas, Bi-Con Services, ESAB Welding & Cutting Equipment, Fastenal Industrial and Construction Supplies, James C. Dawes Co., Inc., Lincoln Electric Co., Matheson TriGas, Mid-East Career & Tech Center, Miller Electric Manufacturing Co., Plumbers & Pipefitters Local Union 495, Victor Technologies and Zane State College.
U.S. Bridge donated the steel for the contest.
Vendors onsite were Air-Gas, Lincoln Electric, Miller Electric, Matheson and Victor Technologies. Each vendor presented visitors an opportunity to try the newest welders on the market.
“It is a good experience for the students to go to a strange place and use a welder that they are not used to, because most places that hire welders require the applicant to take a weld test. This contest prepares them for those conditions. There is the added benefit of gaining a recognized credential if they are successful,” said Duche.
For more information about the school’s welding program visit ZaneState.edu.