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May 2, 2011
The partnership formed between Piedmont Technical College and Laurens District 55 has proven to be a successful venture.
“This was a good opportunity for Piedmont Tech to grow the welding program and benefit all those involved,” said Keith Lasure, dean of engineering and industrial technology at PTC.
The program offered Gas & Arc Welding, Arc Welding II and Print Reading each evening Monday through Thursday at Laurens 55 High School. The goal of the program was to offer students the opportunity to earn their journeyman welding certificate.
The location of the program brought in 11 students who saw it as an alternative to driving to the Greenwood campus.
“I think I would have gone into the welding program no matter where it was located, but I’m glad they put it closer to home and made it easier on all of us,” said Travis Lawson of Clinton.
Mike Melton of Laurens retired from his job in January, 2010 and saw the new program as an opportunity to pursue his interest.
“I’ve always had a passion for welding, but I’ve never had any formal training,” said Melton. “I decided this was my chance. If the program had not been held here at the high school in Laurens, I probably would not have been part of the program.”
“The classes are the same beginning courses taught in Greenwood,” said Jim Fleming, PTC welding program coordinator/instructor. “We wanted to provide options for those who are interested in enrolling in the welding program, but are unable to make the drive. I think we were successful in that endeavor.”
Fleming said the plan is to continue to expand the program and offer more courses in Laurens.
The students enrolled in the program in Laurens will complete the program and have their journeyman welding certificate in the spring. Most of them plan to continue their education at the Greenwood campus and earn their associate degree.
For more information, contact the Piedmont Technical College Laurens County Higher Education Center at (864) 938-1505.
Photo Caption: In the spring, 11 Piedmont Technical College students will complete the journeyman welding certificate offered through a partnership with Laurens District 55 High School. Most of those plan to pursue their associate degree at the Greenwood campus.