Red Oak Seniors Molding Their Futures Through Welding

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three guys wearing welding helmets
Photo courtesy Red Oak ISD

Red Oak ISD Offers Four Month Welding Program

Some folks have trouble holding it together.

Not these youths.

A trio of seniors from Red Oak High School are perfecting their welding skills with plans to enter that profession. Zachary Allen, Trystin Peacock and Colton Perdue recently competed in the 2022 Missouri Welding Competition as a step toward that ultimate goal.

The two-day competition was held Jan. 27-28 at the Missouri Welding Institute in Nevada, Missouri. A total of around 400 students from across the United States participated in a quest to win scholarship money to the school.

The three good friends saw a social media post and decided they would make the journey up and east to compete together. They came home after each earned a $1,000 scholarship to the institute, where they all plan to attend upon graduation from Red Oak High School.

Page Bishop, Red Oak High School welding agriculture science teacher, said performing well in such competition not only provides some nice bragging rights, it is also important as the students enter the work society. Unlike four-year universities, a program such as the one at Missouri Welding Institute will have students out in the world seeking employment for their craft in less than a year, and Bishop said it is an environment with great battles to win if one is going to grab a company’s attention.

“It is great for students to have this type of competition. Most companies have a welding test to determine pay rate,” Bishop said, “The better they can compete in these contests, the better pay they will receive.”

The school has a four-month program in welding.

Practice Makes Perfect

Perdue described his competition as including him having to complete a couple of multipass welds. Multipass work is typically required when thick sections are required to be welded together. As the name suggests, multipass welds consist of multiple passes of welding in a joint.

Allen said his competition included him having to complete 10 beads and four weaves. Weave beads are produced by weaving the torch across the joint. They can be used on carbon and low-alloy steel in the rolled or horizontal-fixed position.

All three want to make a living in the welding industry. As for how they plan to apply their craft, they agreed to search for multiple positions and go “wherever the money is.”

And while they are happy to have won scholarship money in this competition, they are anxious to continue working to get better and perfect their talents. Like anyone with a skill, they understand what will get them to the top and keep them there.

“Practice makes perfect,” Colton said.

“I need to go back and redo some things I haven’t done in the past year,” Allen said.

“Practice will help you get things straight.”

Peacock chose not to comment for the article.

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Rick Mauch is a veteran of more than four decades in the media. He began writing in high school and immediately went into broadcasting for almost a decade after graduating, working his way to morning drive in Birmingham, Alabama. However, realizing how much he missed writing (though he did continue to do some during his time in top-40 radio), Rick returned to what he loved and has been doing it ever since. Rick's career has spanned a plethora of media outlets, including community journalism, sports, entertainment, politics and more. He's worked in print, broadcast and online media. He also spent several years doing public relations for a children's home in East Texas - still writing on the side, of course. When he's not writing, Rick loves to play golf and do Bigfoot research. He's an avid believer. He also made his first hole-in-one in June of 2020. Rick is married to Junell Mauch. They have five children and two granddaughters

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