RAVENNA – Several students from Maplewood Career Center recently passed their state certifications in welding with the help of instructor Britt Palmer.

In November, students Zach Sanor (junior) and Logan Spence (senior) passed their SMAW 3G 1" plate using E7018; and students Isaac Foster (senior), Sylvester Smith IV (senior) and Bill Mathis (senior) passed their GTAW 3G 3/8" plate using ER70S-6. In January, seniors Chuck Merritt and Jaycob Quay, and junior Carl Hahn passed their SMAW 3G 1" plate using E7018.

"I strongly feel that this accomplishment will allow students to develop a resume that will interest any potential employer," said Palmer. "Many of our students have gone on to be pipe welders, nuclear welders, certified welding instructors, welding supervisors and other impressive career paths, including the U.S. military."

The certification process is applicable to several different types of welding processes and ultimately tests the welder’s ability to create effective, operative welds. By producing sound quality welds, students are judged on whether or not they have the qualifications needed to meet the standards of a company, job site or career in a particular industry. At Maplewood Career Center, the students dedicate hundreds of hours to developing their skills that will not only last for the rest of their lives, but will also provide them with a good living.

"Prior to taking the certification, the student must pass a visual test four out of five times," said Palmer. "It is always my goal to have each student pass a variety of certifications, including receiving an OSHA certification for manufacturing and welding safety during their junior year."

In 2016, Maplewood implemented the "Your Choice" program, which is a voluntary drug testing program. The program, which many of the welding students are registered for, gives participants the chance to receive an additional certification demonstrating that they lead a drug-free lifestyle and are therefore career-ready.

"We are grateful to both our instructors and our students for their ongoing dedication to learning and teaching skills that they can utilize for the betterment of the community at large," said Superintendent Randall Griffith. "It is always an inspiration to see our students earn challenging certifications, and I wish them all the best as they begin careers."