Written by | Katlin Lanners
The Moore County Campus is gearing up to graduate its first class of welders. The program began in fall 2015, and the first group of seven welding students will complete the program this March. Danielle Arias, assistance director for continuing education and workforce development, said the program has a state-of-the-art welding lab and experienced full-time faculty. The program is six months long, and students attend class from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. five days a week. “Either you are 100 percent here or you are not. Missing one day will put you so far behind,” said welding student Braden Sandoval.
Students take courses in machine shop math, business communication, shop safety and thermal cutting. The students can find careers in manufacturing, agriculture, construction and other industries that need welders, cutters, solderers and brazers, which is a method of bonding metals together. Welding Instructor Roy Kygar said AC started the fast-track program in Moore County to provide students with a chance to develop skills without commuting to Amarillo.
“My main goal is to keep students here in Dumas instead of losing their developed skills and talents to other places,” Kygar said.
Thirteen Dumas High School seniors took a tour of the program Jan. 26. Jeff Wallick of the technical department spoke to the students about the possibilities the program can offer them. “You will spend about $6,000 on education, six months’ time and will end up making around $40,000,” Wallick said. The average salary for a welder is $38,000. AC faculty members try to help students find jobs immediately after graduation. Faculty members said local businesses contact the school with job offers for the program’s graduates.
For more information about the program, call 806-379-2726.