Elizabethton AG Mechanic students take welding exam at Northeast State

Published 1:03 pm Friday, December 17, 2021

BY SHELAYNE PHELAN
ELIZABETHTON FFA CHAPTER REPORTER

For the first time ever, Elizabethton Agriculture Mechanics students participated in a welding articulation exam at Northeast State Community College.

This exam consisted of a 50-question written test and a skills-based test including both vertical and overhead welding.

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Passing this exam allows students to “test out of” WELD 1060- the first-year welding course taught at Northeast State.

Students spent the morning in Northeast’s brand new $29.8 million, state of the art Technical Education Complex. They interacted with college instructors and active students as well as using the new metallurgy laboratory.

Seniors TJ Little and Austin Whitson are both new to welding, only having welded for the first time a few months ago.

“The first couple of weeks into the class and I went out and bought a welder for my house. I get to practice whenever I want now,” said Whitson.

The Ag Mechanics program at EHS is a new program of study within the Agriculture, Engineering, Industrial, and Mechanical Systems Pathway offered to Elizabethton students.

These courses teach life skills such as basic electrical wiring, plumbing, woodworking, how to change the oil in a lawnmower and to sharpen its blade to more advanced topics like welding, metal fabrication, and precision measurements.

“We will have students come into the program who have never held a hammer and leave the program having basic knowledge that will help them in their future careers and in life in general,” said instructor Jerry Agan.

“I appreciate the support and vision of our Director of Schools Mr. VanHuss and CTE Director Brian Culbert for seeing the need for a program like this.”

Students can earn several nationally recognized industry certifications like OSHA-10, Briggs and Stratton Master Technician, and Precision Measurement Instruments.

“I’m not sure what I will do in my future, but I know I am ready to work hard. I appreciate the skills I have learned at EHS especially through the agriculture program.” Little said.