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Welders Come to SHSU
Now, thanks to efforts by SHSU Agricultural Sciences staff members, Lincoln Electric has brought its expertise to Texas for its first welding school at the university level.
After years of teaching welding to SHSU agriculture students, professors Billy Harrell and Joe Muller realized they were out of touch with the latest technology.
"Dr. Harrell and our instructors here realized we hadn't kept up with the technology," Muller said. "We felt the need for more training. We knew our teachers weren't up to speed with the ever evolving changes in the field."
Wanting to learn more, Harrell and Muller contacted the Lincoln Electric Welding School and offered them the opportunity to pilot a new program instructing, not student welders, but welding teachers.
"We're teaching teachers here," Lincoln Electric District Manager Thomas Angelino said. "Billy and Joe approached us and asked if we were willing to do a teacher workshop for instructors. There are between 1,200 to 1,500 ag mechanics instructors in Texas, so we knew there was a need for us to do this."
The pilot welding school was held Dec. 9-13 at SHSU's Agricultural Sciences facilities. Fifteen teachers from Texas high schools, Texas A&M, Navarro College and SHSU participated in learning the newest welding processes.
Lincoln Electric spared little expense for the project bringing in five of its instructors from areas of Ohio, Georgia and Houston. It also provided new welding machines for participants to learn on.
"We shipped in 31 brand new Lincoln welding machines for use," Angelino said. "At the end of this program, they will be considered used and since we can't sell them as new anymore we are offering the schools a very deep discount to buy them and take them home to use in their own welding programs."
Harrell said he was anxious to expand the quality of welding equipment available at SHSU.
"We have been able to purchase, at major savings, five new machines, including one that is the absolute newest technology available," Harrell said. "Itıs a big step up from the welding equipment our students have had to work with in the past. Sam Houston has definitely benefited from this program."
The success of the pilot welding school has already prompted Harrell and Angelino to look towards expanding the program in coming years.
"We're already working with Lincoln on doing the school again next year. We're talking about the possibility of getting 80 to 100 people into the classroom for next time," Harrell said. "The teachers that have taken part this year are very, very pleased with what they've learned this week. Some even say they'd like to come back again next year."
Participants said the chance to learn the newest technology is the greatest benefit of attending the SHSU chapter of the Lincoln Electric Welding School.
"This is where the industry is going, these are the new things that are out there," Angelino said. "It's a good skill refresher."
Harrell said expanding the knowledge of teachers would allow welding teachers to give nothing but the best to their students.
"We saw a need for this, a need to be taught again," Harrell said. "It will multiply, these 15 people will go back and share this with 100 to 150 students and it will go from there. It's really a great thing."
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