When deciding what institution to attend in order to learn the skills needed to become a certified welder, Paulding County resident Blake New had a few choices. He said he made the right decision by enrolling in the Welding and Joining Technology program at Chattahoochee Technical College for the 2015 Spring Semester.
“I was debating going to Tulsa Welding School and Georgia Trade School as well as Chattahoochee Tech,” New said. “I decided Chattahoochee Tech was the better option because I heard from my uncle that they opened a brand new welding program in Dallas and it was closer to home than the other options. I was also the first to register for the program.”
New said that learning the ins and outs of the program, the equipment used and the expectations set forth for those employed in the industry, and the expectations of industry employers, was made easier through the help of his instructors James Thomas and Jordan Hunter.
“James Thomas as well as Jordan Hunter are extremely knowledgeable in their field and they provided a hands-on learning environment in the classroom,” New said. “Jordan Hunter also helped me to obtain my first job as a welder.
“I enjoyed the class Industrial Preparation because instead of the same thing every day there was variety in the assignments,” New continued. “This class was more than just welding and testing. We would design, fabricate, build and present our assignment to the instructor.”
New said he is not content with only acquiring the welding certification. He plans to expand his knowledge and opportunities for the future.
“My career and educational goals are that I would like to gain as much knowledge as possible in heavy equipment fabrication, repair and maintenance in hopes of owning my own business that specializes in commercial truck bodies such as tanker trucks, flat beds, utility bodies and dump bodies,” New said.
Upon graduating in spring 2017, New was employed at Morgan Truck Body in Rydal as a welder fabricator and hydraulics specialist. He has now taken another position at L&N Supply Company in Dallas as a welder fabricator in an effort to further broaden his skillset.
Chattahoochee Technical College’s welding program is conveniently located on the Paulding and Appalachian campuses. Students are taught in a hands-on learning environment that focuses on skill development and meeting industry standards. The program is eligible for the HOPE Career Grant and may be completed in as little as two years.