CHS Welding Program welcomes Hypertherm donation

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CHS Welding Program welcomes Hypertherm donation
Posted on 09/25/2015

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The Calhoun High School (CHS) Welding Program was recently selected to receive a “2015 Spark Something Great Educational Grant” from Hypertherm, a U.S. based manufacturer of plasma, laser and waterjet cutting systems.

Hypertherm’s Education Grant provided the CHS welding program with a Hypertherm Powermax45 plasma cutting and gouging system ($2,240 value) and AWS SENSE approved “Plasma Cutting Technology: Theory and Practice” curriculum kit ($499 value).

CHS was one of ten high schools, vocational schools, community colleges and universities in North America selected for the grant.

The CHS Welding Program was selected based on its commitment to metal fabrication education, overall need, student completion rate, instructor plans for use and a student testimonial.

“We are excited to get the equipment in and show students how to use it,” said CHS Welding Instructor Jerry Stratmann. “It’s a tremendous honor to be chosen for this donation. CHS was the only high school in Texas selected for the grant this year,” he added.

The addition of the plasma cutter and curriculum aligns well with the overall career and technical education vision that the CHS Welding Program has for its students.

 “Our goal is to teach students the relevant and marketable skillsets they need to become employed by local industry or any area of welding,” Stratmann said. “The more modern and relevant the equipment is, the better we serve our students and community.”

Of the 174 students currently enrolled in the welding program at CHS, 45% have expressed interest in welding as their primary career; 23% expect their welding skills to be utilized as part of their career; 15% are earning certifications as a back up to their primary career; and 17% just want to learn how to weld as a hobby.

Many CHS Welding Program students have taken the opportunity to earn basic industry and welding certifications from the National Center for Construction, Education and Research (NCCER). During the 2014-15 school year, 49 students became certified with NCCER Core, 9 students became certified as a Level 1 Welder and 3 students achieved their Level 2 welding certificate.