LSCO takes welding torch to new bond

Published 4:37 pm Wednesday, June 28, 2017

By Dawn Burleigh

The Orange Leader


Lamar State College – Orange (LSCO) Welding Program Director Gary McLendon understands the importance of a good arc.

McLendon, while working in a fabrication shop, noticed the company he worked for at the time was looking for welders.

“I never regretted it,” McLendon said.

He is the head of a new program at LSCO for Welding Technology – a one year certificate.

“This is for beginners,” McLendon said. “It is for anyone looking for work.”

A certificate program is designed to prepare students for entry-level welding occupations and provide additional welding skills. Students will learn basic and advanced techniques in oxyacetylene, gas metal arc, shielded metal arc, and gas tungsten arc welding processes. They will use basic math skills to assist them in building and repairing. Brazing, oxyacetylene cutting and blueprint reading are part of the program. Some occupations are combination welder, gas, and arc welder, welder/fitter, layout/welder, and fabricator. Graduates will be able to work in shipyards, fabrication shops, and the construction industry, according to the LSCO catalog.

McLendon retired from position at a local refinery in 2013. He saw then and now the demand for welders.

“All the skills you need to learn, I am going to teach,” McLendon said.

He also said a certificate of completion shows potential employers, one competed the program.

“As part of the hiring process, one will still have to pass a welding exam for the company,” McLendon said. “I want them to step right into it.”

McLendon also added there is a demand for welders.

“I had a company say they can’t get enough welders,” McLendon said.

As students will be at different levels of skill, McLendon also has plans for special projects for advanced students.

“Welding is my passion,” McLendon said. “I want our students to succeed.”

For more information concerning registering for the courses, contact Lamar State College at (409) 882-3364.