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PHS students receive certification

PHS students certified as welders. Several students recently passed American Welding Society certification test to become certified welders.

The eight students are:

Jacob Hartman

Guillermo Landa

Alejandro Arzola

Francisco Chavira

Juan Grimaldo

Mason Lechner

Andrew Ramos

Juan Ruiz

The AWS certification involves an evaluation in which the students demonstrate their ability to use a stick welder.

According to Alejandro Arzola, the process took two hours with three welders going at the same time.

“We had to weld a horizontal, 6-inch plate with a 1/8 rod,” Alejandro said. “And it can’t break.”

The students are excited about this accomplishment, which prepares them for the future.

“This is a great opportunity because welding is a career with many roots, and it’s a field that is growing,” said Juan Ruiz.

All eight of the students plan to pursue some variety of welding as a career.

“I’m going to continue going to school for welding,” said Francisco Chavira, who leaves for the Tulsa Welding School in September. “I plan to do pipe fitting, and there is a high demand for skilled pipe fitters in the oil fields.”

Students prepare welder for skills demonstration. Mason Lechner knew welding was something he wanted to pursue when he enrolled in the 2-year program at PHS.

“I enjoy this type of stuff because I like working with my hands, and you can see a finished product,” Mason said. “Everyone in my family does it, so I was always interested in this as a career.”

According to PHS welding instructor Rowdy Akins, the test requires ability and concentration to prove proficiency in welding.

“It really focuses on consistency,” Guillermo Landa said. “They are looking for a consistent bead.”

According to Guillermo, this was easy to achieve because of all the work they do in the vocational ag shop at PHS.

“We get daily experience with this hands-on,” he said. “That’s what really matters, because we are always learning and practicing the skill.”

Photo cutline: Newly certified welders Juan Grimaldo and Andrew Ramos prepare the stick welder for a skills demonstration.