The welding technology program at Tennessee Technology Center at Crossville was well represented at the state SkillsUSA Championships held in Chattanooga. Todd Carson, a CCHS senior, placed third in the high school division. Competing in the post-secondary division was Heath Bunch from Morgan County.

According to Joe Livesay, TTC welding instructor, “Welding students from across the state competed on the state level with those placing first advancing to the national level. Competitors were judged in four areas: welding skills, written test, job interview and résumé. There were two sections in the welding skills area. Two G pipe in all positions included root pass, hot pass 6010, caps 7018, open butt joint, 1/8” gap. GMAW in flat, vertical and horizontal positions and SMAW in flat and horizontal positions. The skills competition was held at Sequoyah High School in Soddy-Daisy.”

Todd Carson is the son of Mike and Helene Carson of the Rinnie Community. He enrolled in welding for one semester his junior year at CCHS and comes all day this semester. “I knew I wanted to finish my welding training before going to college. I finished my high school graduation requirements last semester. Rather than graduate early, I was permitted to attend welding all day. This way I am still a high school student and do not have to pay the fees I would be charged if I had graduated in December and returned to TTC as a post-secondary student. A diploma in welding from TTC will transfer to RSCC as 30 semester hours toward an associate degree.”

Carson placed in the regional welding competitions held in Nashville earlier this year. This allowed him to advance to the state level. “I’ve learned a lot in welding and from the competitions. I like studying at my own pace, and like working on projects. I like the feeling of evaluating and fixing something using different welding techniques.”

Heath Bunch is the son of Betty and Tony Bunch of Wartburg. He is a 2005 graduate of Coalfield High School. He also attended Morgan County Vocational Technical Center where he studied welding under Ronnie Trout. Because he completed 500 hours of welding training in high school, Bunch enrolled at TTC as an advanced student. “I want to thank Mr. Trout for being a great welding teacher,” states Bunch. “His training gave me a good foundation and prepared me for the TTC program.”

Bunch received a scholarship to attend TTC where he maintains an A average with perfect attendance. “I’m a welder! I like all types of welding,” states Bunch. “I did it one day and liked it. The more I learn, the more I enjoy the field.” Bunch is an active member of the Crossville chapter of the American Welding Society. He competed in the 3G and 4G plate division and placed first in the AWS sanctioned competition held in the fall 2006.

The TTC welding technology program enrolls students every month. Financial aid is available for those who qualify. For additional information call TTC at 484-7502.

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