St. Clair County Community College (SC4) was pleased to host the SkillsUSA Regional Welding Competition on Friday, Feb. 10, in the Acheson Technology Center. Longtime SC4 welding professor Joseph McFalda served as the competition facilitator.
The approximately 30 junior and senior students competing at SC4 came from St. Clair County TEC, Oakland Schools Technical Campuses (OSTC), Warren Consolidated Schools and Centerline Public Schools (CPC).
Students receive a blueprint and precut metal at the competition. They are then judged on skill as well as how clean and safely each piece is welded in four categories: gas metal arc welding, gas tungsten arc welding, shielded metal arc welding, and overall.
Winners, who will now go on to compete in the state competition, included:
Gas metal arc welding
1st place – Lucas Jones – CPC
2nd Place – Derek Buckles – CPC
3rd Place – Carter Belian – CPC
Shielded metal arc welding
1st place – Scott Pauly – St. Clair County TEC
2nd Place – Gregory Jones – St. Clair County TEC
3rd Place – Remington Koveck – St. Clair County TEC
Gas tungsten arc welding
1st Place – Zachary Vanbuskirk – St. Clair County TEC
2nd Place – Colin Turzak – OSTC
3rd Place – Dylan Emmert – St. Clair County TEC
1st Place – Lukas Morris – St. Clair County TEC
2nd Place – Logan Fiedler – St. Clair County TEC
3rd Place – Derek Gurne – St. Clair County TEC
“Welders are needed more now than ever,” said McFalda, who’s been judging competitions for more than 15 years. “This type of competition takes students out of their comfort zone and simulates going in for a job interview or a job test, where everything is new. They don’t know what to do sometimes or what to expect. It’s a little more real-world for them.”
He added, “Students can make a very good living being a welder. They can spend an entire career getting better as they go. I’ve been doing it for 45 years. I’ve never tired of it and am still learning and getting better.”