Thursday, April 28, 2011

Welding Department Keeping Pace with Industry~by Jason Hall 2/8/2011

by Jason Hall
The industrial maintenance and welding departments are currently going through a transition that will improve the courses for the instructors and the students.
David Thompson, the chair of Science and Technology Division and Instructor of Electronic Engineer Technology said, “Classes of old used to contain a mix and match of students with different skills and some of the guys would test out.”
“WVU Parkersburg is in a transition of placing students of the same skill in the same class, which puts the students on the same page,” Thompson said. The transition will help WVU Parkersburg meet industrial standards and state requirements, which will add to the value of the degree for any student attending the college.
“Students used to attend WVU Parkersburg welding classes just to learn how to weld a little, or for a quick certificate, and then leave with minimum requirements not realizing how close they might have been to a degree rather than a certificate from the Board of Education,” said Thompson.
“WVU Parkersburg is making changes to keep up with the industry. The newest edition to our welding program is full-time welding instructor Craig Bills.   He is proving to be a real asset,” said Max Sterrett program coordinator.
WVU Parkersburg is hoping to raise the bar for the welding department by working with American Welding Society. WVU Parkersburg is currently working with AWS to help students better prepare for jobs in the field by providing knowledge of the welding industry, as well as performance based evaluations. This will include some bookwork and exams.
AWS is a nationally recognized organization that is responsible for certifying welders as well as educators and developing curriculum for the welding trade.
Although some of the students are not too thrilled about the idea of exams, doing this  will better prepare the student for a job in the field,” Sterrett said.
“The Industrial Machine program has recently accepted a state grant that allowed for the purchased of new equipment.
“The equipment we did have was from the 60s and 70s. We now have eight new lathes, four new mills, two new CNC machines, and a surface grinder. We also added an electrical instrumentation and certification to the multi-craft department, we are also excited about a new building for the Applied Technology Center that is scheduled to break ground in the spring,” Sterrett said.
            The construction should be complete within a year. The building will be located across the street from the Caperton Center. Any questions concerning the multi craft classes call Max Sterrett at (304) 424-8294 or email

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