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PCCUA-Helena welding students learning skills for good jobs

Mar 09, 2017




PCCUA-Helena welding students learning skills for good jobs  


The need for welding in manufacturing has prompted a growing demand for welders in the U.S., and those with welding certificates will be at a distinct advantage in getting good jobs.

For Rose Woo, Travarus Williams, and Richard Graham, getting their welding Certificates of Proficiency at Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas (PCCUA)-Helena means getting to enter the workforce quickly, getting a good salary, and opening more job opportunities.

Woo, who lives in Elaine, isn’t your typical welding student, noting that female welders make great workers, and her decision to learn the trade came naturally.

“I traced my bloodline back to the Phoenicians, who were known for metal work,” she said, “and my big sister is also a welder. I want to become a jack of all trades! I am going to learn electrician work, masonry, and small machine repair, too.”

For Woo, working with her hands is something she loves to do, whether it’s playing with her 200 in one electronics building kit, making jewelry out of crystals and wires, playing around with air conditioners, or honing the skills she’s already learned to make projects perfect.

“Phillips College and its instructors have been very helpful by showing us what we are doing wrong and how to improve and by allowing us to learn at our own pace, fast or slow,” she said.

               Williams, also of Elaine, said he learned about PCCUA’s welding program from other students. He likes to build, and welding fit in nicely with his plans to work for a construction company.

“I enjoy working hands-on, and the instructors are nice and willing to help at any cost. They don’t advance you to the next level until you are for sure that you have learned what you need to know,” he said.

Graham first became interested in welding because he thought it sounded fun, and he has really grown to enjoy it.

“I feel like the Phillips College staff do a great job teaching this skill, and when I finish, I would like to find a job as a welder or working on a farm,” he said.

Linda Killion, PCCUA Dean of Applied Technology, said welding certificates allow students to get through school quickly and into the job market. She added that learning all of the different welding skills used today can increase their chances of landing a good paying job.

“Employers prefer to hire welders who have Certificates of Proficiency because they know they typically do a better job,” she said. “Furthermore, they can easily work in any industry because the basic welding skills are the same.” 

Killion said PCCUA offers both day and night classes in welding. To register or for more information about the program, call Vicki Cobb at 338-6474, ext. 1122, or Killion at ext. 1368.