Last updated: July 18. 2013 7:13PM - 326 Views

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PAINTSVILLE – Big Sandy Community and Technical College recently welcomed a new welding instructor and new training equipment to the BSCTC Welding Program.

John Fitzpatrick, of Van Lear, joined the Welding Program August 1, 2012.

Fitzpatrick, a former BSCTC alumnus, brings over 12 years of welding experience to the program. He holds an associate in applied science degree in civil engineering technology, a CNC machinist degree and is currently working towards a bachelor of science degree in technology management.

The BSCTC welding workshop was renovated 2011 via the instillation of state-of- the-art equipment and welding booths. Six new welding booths and six new welding machines were added, increasing the total number of booths and machines to thirty for teaching and training purposes. The new welding booths and stands support both plate and pipe welding and allow students to plate weld in 2-G, 3-G, and 4-G, and supports pipe welding for 2-G, 5-G and 6-G. With the addition of the 3D welding simulator, the BSCTC Welding Program is one of the best in the State.

The new 3D welder, a Lincoln VRTEX 360, provides students with the option of welding with Shielded Metal Arc Welders (SMAW); Gas Metal Arc Welders (GMAW) or Flux Cored Arc Welding (FCAW). The simulator provides students various computer-generated positions to learn welding (i.e.) flat, horizontal, vertical and overhead. It teaches them how to set heat settings on the machine for the thickness of metal they are working with as well perfecting techniques. The simulator provides valuable information to students as they practice welding. It lets students get a feel for welding and they genuinely enjoy the experience since they can practice virtual welding while critiquing skills and techniques. Additionally, it saves on shop materials (i.e.) welding rods, metal and basic wear on a machines. It is a great tool for teaching amateur students the art of welding.

“The BSCTC Welding Program is one of the best in the state,” Fitzpatrick said. “We have the finest welding booths and stands. The College has established a great Program and I hope to teach the students some of the things I have learned throughout my welding career. My goal is to continue with established ‘best practices’ and help the Program flourish.”

The Welding Technology Program at Big Sandy provides a strong core curriculum that prepares students with various options for employment. Welding occupations are primarily concerned with joining, surfacing, fabricating and repairing structures or parts made of metal and/or other welding materials.

Graduates of the Big Sandy Welding Technology Program are prepared for entry level positions in the welding industry. Coursework includes, oxy-fuel systems, metal arc welding, small groove welding, gas tungsten arc welding, blueprint reading, gas metal arc welding, shielded metal arc welding as well as mathematics, computer fundamentals and other courses.

Admission to the BSCTC Welding Technology Program requires the following:

• Application for admission

• Be at least 16 years of age

• ACT scores or equivalent

• Copy of high school transcript or GED certificate

• Verification of completion of prerequisite courses

• Official transcripts of all post-secondary course work OR

• Copy of midterm grades

Information about the Welding Technology Program at Big Sandy is available by contacting, BSCTC Welding Instructor, John Fitzpatrick at (606) 788-2823 or by e-mailing jfitzpatrick0015@kctcs.edu

Big Sandy Community and Technical College offers academic and educational programs that provide valuable opportunities to students. For more information about the many programs and services offered at Big Sandy visit, http://www.bigsandy.kctcs.edu/ or call (606) 886-3863.

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