Three get welding scholarshipPublished 9:29pm Friday, March 28, 2014
The Tulsa Welding School, Jacksonville campus, came to Bainbridge High School Thursday to conduct a welding competition for high school seniors and the winner was awarded a full ride scholarship.
Representatives from Tulsa Welding School were present to hand out one full scholarship, one for 50 percent and another for 25 percent to three high school seniors.
Tulsa Welding School is a partner of Mike Rowe’s “Dirty Jobs” which seeks to bring awareness of the technical school programs that exist as an alternative to college.
“We push too many of our students to college when it is not meant for everyone,” Bainbridge High School welding instructor Steve Caulder said. “If they don’t think college is right for them, we want them to focus on doing something that matters and something that can make a difference rather than going to college if they don’t want to.”
Tony Dues, the admissions representative for Tulsa Welding School’s Jacksonville campus said they want high school seniors to realize there is a great need for skilled technical workers like welders. Specifically in the welding industry there is a need for more than 200,000 welders in the country at this time. Welders can graduate from the TWS program in seven months and enter directly into the workforce. Dues also noted their school provides opportunity for alumni to come back and get additional training as technology advances over the years and new techniques appear.
The competition Thursday allowed for seniors to compete for scholarships. The three seniors that won are already enrolled in the Tulsa Welding School program, but were hoping for financial help.
“Some of the students were so nervous they were sick to their stomachs,” Dues said at the end of the competition, where students were asked to weld small metal sheets together. Local judges examined their techniques and reviewed what they created with their welding techniques.
Senior Hunter Logue took home the full-ride scholarship, worth more than $18,000. Logue’s older brother is an alumnus of the Tulsa Welding School and currently works in the industry.
The half scholarship was awarded to Akinshye Kelley and a 25 percent scholarship was awarded to senior Hunter Long.
“This was the first time Tulsa Welding School has come to do something like this here but we plan to do this every year now,” Caulder said.