Elgin Community College’s Sustainability, Business, and Career Technologies (SBCT) division is holding its first high school welding competition on Thursday, May 17. Thirty-one students from Hampshire, Elgin, Marengo, Dundee-Crown, Jacobs, St. Charles East, and Sycamore high school and the Fox Valley Career Center, will compete.
Competitors will take a written test on welding fundamentals and a hands-on test on shielded metal arc welding. ECC faculty members Dave Reich, professor of welding, and Marc Hucek, assistant professor of welding, and will be the judges. Both are Certified Welding Inspectors (CWI).
“The demand for skilled welders is at an all-time high in our area and throughout the United States,” said Reich. “We are trying to light a spark in high school students by providing them with valuable experience in a field with endless potential for growth. Welding is a great career choice for someone who is looking to work with their hands in the trades.”
The competition is sponsored by Lincoln Electric, Airgas, Blue Demon Welding, Pipefitters Local 597, American Technical Publishers, and the American Welding Society. Several of the sponsors have donated welding equipment and supplies that will be awarded to the winners.
ECC offers a two-year Associate of Applied Science degree in Welding Fabrication Technology and a basic welding certificate that can typically be completed in one year. Students gain hands-on experience in the welding lab and learn welding concepts from expert instructors. Upon completion of the program, students are prepared for work as a welder, cutter, fitter, solderer, or brazer.
Visit elgin.edu/welding to view a list of ECC’s career and technical degrees and certificate options.