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LSCO offering night classes for welding

By Dawn Burleigh

Lamar State College Orange (LSCO) will offer night classes for welding starting this Fall. The certificate requires six classes to complete.

The courses will be offered in Monday and Tuesday night. Registration for the Fall semester opens on April 5. One must apply for admission to the college. No additional testing is required due to the program being a certificate.

“To earn the certificate, it takes six classes,” Dean of Health, Workforce, and Technical Studies Kristin Walker said. “This is the first time we have offered the courses at night.”

Walker said people have asked for the classes to be made available at night and the college worked towards making it happen.

Walker added the course also qualifies for financial aid and the Texas Workforce Commission is also a resource for financial aid for the program.

The welding certificate has been offered for five years and is an entry level certification.

“It provides training for people to be able to get into the petro-chemical plants,” Walker said.

“One of our students is older than average and has welded for several years, but not having this particular certification, has missed out on a lot of high paying jobs,” Welding Program Director Gary McLendon said. “He lived in north Texas, and has moved here because of the oil industry and the expansions of the refineries.”

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.

“Along with teaching stick and tig, which makes a combination welder and mig, we also are teaching pipe fabrication, some of the “pipe fitters blue book”, as well as the “piping selector wheel”,” McLendon said. “We try to add these items so perhaps the student can be a good helper for the first class welder, these are tools the student should be familiar with.”

The college is hoping to offer an AS degree at some point.

“Most of my former students are employed and occasionally stop by to chat. Many are working jobs in Orange and as far as Jamaica,” McLendon said.

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

Lamar State College Orange (LSCO) and Lamar State College Port Arthur (LSCPA) care for students and want to assist every student during this time of continued uncertainty and economic unrest. For students enrolling in courses during the Summer 2021 and Fall 2021 semesters, LSCO and LSCPA want to continue providing students with the hope of a productive and secure future. As such, the colleges are each offering students the opportunity to receive one free course this summer and up to two free courses this fall for ALL students.

This offer will be extended until all allotted funds for scholarships has been disbursed, so students are encouraged to register for the Summer 2021 and Fall 2021 semesters early.

“LSCO is excited to support our community during these challenging times. Through this offer, more students will be able to access higher education in our region. This is in keeping with our mission of Transforming Lives and creating a Bright, Orange Future,” said LSCO President Dr. Thomas Johnson.