Thomasville High School's welding students competed in the South GA and Southwest GA Skills Challenge in Moultrie on November 29th. Approximately twenty schools participated in the challenge, with over 200 students competing in various events, including blueprint reading, carpentry, electrical, masonry, plumbing and welding.
The welding class at THS is taught by Southern Regional Technical College instructor John Kemper. Kemper stated, "Even though our five students have only been studying welding for four months, they've learned a lot, and this competition was a great experience for them. They got to see what it's all about." Kemper also stated, "Welding is hard and hot, but the pay makes it a worthwhile career."
CTAE Director Shamane Taylor is very excited about the return of the welding program to THS. "We have a number of different Career Technical Agricultural Education (CTAE) pathways in our system, but we moved away from the traditional skilled trade programs that were once so prevalent." So now, "we are facing a nationwide skills gap, and too many good paying jobs can't be filled.
Junior Leondre' Cliett competed in the challenge. Cliett said, "We didn't really know what to expect this year, but we'll be ready for next year's competition. We're going to be in the top ten!"
The event is hosted by the South Georgia and Southwest Georgia Workforce Development Alliances, in conjunction with AGC Georgia, JCI Contractors and Tulsa Welding School in Jacksonville.