Strategic Spark

New CTE program links students to welding industry

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LINDEN — Local high school students can now enroll in a newly implemented welding technology program at North Montgomery High School.

West Central Indiana Career and Technical Education launched the program in partnership with Vincennes University for the students enrolled at their cooperative schools — Crawfordsville, North Montgomery, Southmont and Western Boone.

Following years of planning, CTE Director Sara Nicodemus said she is thrilled to see the program take off in its inaugural year with a new classroom and instructor.

“Everything about designing this program has been strategic,” Nicodemus said. “We wanted to offer a top-notch program that students would be excited to sign up for and to learn from an industry professional.”

Course instructor Jeff Harp, a 2005 North Montgomery graduate, brings more than 15 years of industry experience in fabrication shops, production and structural welding to the program, which has seen 25 students enroll so far.

“My goal is to introduce students to the welding trade and provide the skills necessary for those students who want to enter straight into the workforce, and also highlight the opportunities in continued education,” Harp said.

Classes meet daily for two hours throughout the school year. Students are exposed to multiple welding processes, learning about different metals and how to follow proper safety protocols.

A renovated classroom space offers 21 welding booths, cutting-edge equipment and a curriculum based on industry standards. Students receive high school credits toward graduation, as well as free dual credits through Vincennes University.

Principal Michael Cox also said he is excited for the addition.

“We’re thrilled to have this program; it is an exceptional opportunity for the students of our community,” Cox said. “With (Harp) being a North graduate ... it gives the students insight to the welding world and an immediate mentor at school and for their future careers.”

CTE offers a variety of strategic programs that connect coursework with skills-based learning. All CTE students are given career guidance through these programs as a way of providing assistance with resume building, job awareness, interview coaching and college advice.

West Central Indiana CTE headquarters are at 305 E. Chestnut St., Crawfordsville.

For more information, call 765-362-4022 or visit www.westcentralcte.org.

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