WILLISTON, N.D. - Williston State College welding students gained valuable job experience during Fall 2014 when they built three campus bike racks. For many students, this experience was their first hands-on welding training. For four weeks, students cut steel, bent pipes and built supports before drilling and welding the pieces together.
"They were enthusiastic about using the bending machine, but the most challenging part of the process was calculating the dimensions for the pipe bending process," Shelley Rencher, WSC's welding instructor, said. "Everyone was so brand new that there were a lot of learning moments."
As the semester progressed students received more challenging fabrications and cutting techniques to master. Students rotated the welding responsibilities so that everyone could maintain their regular class assignments. All bike racks were completed and installed on the WSC campus before the first snowfall.
In addition to the bike racks, Rencher's welding students had other jobs around campus. From building equipment stands for the transportation program to fixing a section of broken ventilation, students gained a variety of welding experience.
"They have grown leaps and bounds since the bike racks. Basic measuring had yet to be mastered and at that point I was teaching them by doing the welding myself after they prepared everything," Rencher explained. Several students agree with Rencher, explaining that they now find their initial efforts humorous.
Rencher is not the only one to take notice of WSC's advancing welding program. Members of the local advisory board -welders and fabricators who assist Rencher in making sure her curriculum is up to professional welding standards-show interest in hiring WSC students over the summer. "Their interest in hiring our students would be a huge stepping stone for a lot of [the students]," Rencher explained.
For more information contact, Shelley Rencher at 701.774.4272
For additional information regarding WSC, please visit www.willistonstate.edu,
call 1.888.863.9455, or stop by 1410 University Avenue, Williston, ND.