The school is partnering with Del Mar College to offer the program. The college will supply instructors to teach two classes this fall.
The welding program will be held in the high school’s agricultural facility, and new equipment and stations have been installed to complement it.
“We added ventilation systems, so dust doesn’t get in the kids’ heads when they’re welding,” said Assistant Principal Kyde Eddleman.
Sixteen stations have been installed to accommodate students. Eddleman said 30 students have signed up to take the two fall classes, so far.
“We’re happy with that for a first-year program,” he said.
Students will be able to learn both the TIG (tungsten inert gas) and MIG (metal inert gas) methods of welding.
TIG welding is the process of blending two reactive metals. A TIG welder can perform a variety of weld types on a number of different metals, although steel and aluminum are the most widely used.
MIG welding is used for welding aluminum and other non-ferrous metals. It allows metal to be welded more quickly than traditional ‘stick welding’ techniques.
Eddleman said welding jobs will be in high demand in the area because of the new businesses coming to the Coastal Bend.
“Right now, I’d almost say a guy could get certified, and have a job before he even walks out the door,” he said.
Del Mar will also help the school roll out a new process technology class this year. It will feature equipment that simulates the experience of working in a refinery.
“It will be a high demand field with Cheniere, Voestalpine, and (Tianjin Pipe Company) coming here,” Eddleman said. “We’re trying to get the kids prepared for those jobs.”
The process technology program will also be held in the agricultural facility. It will feature hand-controlled valves used to simulate emission controls.