The welding program at Lincoln-Way Community High School District 210 offers students an excellent opportunity to learn the skills of the trade before beginning their careers. There are currently more than 200 students enrolled across the district in one of three welding courses: Welding 1, Welding 2 and Welding 3.
Students must take the courses in sequence, which may begin with Welding 1 in their sophomore year. Students who choose to take the two upper-level courses can receive dual credit from Joliet Junior College, in addition to receiving a 1G guided bend test certification from Welding 2 and their 2G and 3G certifications from Welding 3.
The welding program at Lincoln-Way is currently experiencing an all-time high for enrollment, with one of the schools running courses for five periods a day. Additionally, this year, Welding 2 and Welding 3 are being held during separate periods, rather than combined, due to high enrollment.
Welding instructor Daymon Gast said, “We work closely with the trade unions and industry to develop a consistent stream of ready and skilled future workers. Lincoln-Way offers opportunities that include School-To-Apprenticeship, SkillsUSA, Welding Contests, career field trips and professional guest speakers to build awareness of opportunities for its students. Lincoln-Way District 210 is highly regarded as a top tier performer in offering a comprehensive educational experience that maximizes the potential of each student's ability and interest."
Mr. Gast coordinates a district-wide welding competition in partnership with SkillsUSA each year. Hosted in March, the contest includes the top 75 welding students competing in two categories for prizes. Industry professionals are on-hand to serve as judges and guest speakers. The annual welding competition is the largest and most exciting event of all the Career and Technical Education events hosted by the District. Recently, Daymon has paired this competition with charitable organizations which has resulted in over $20,000 being donated locally. The competition is just one more example of how the Lincoln-Way welding program goes above and beyond to prepare students for a successful career.
Welding instructor Jason Visny, said, “Our welding program continues to find success by maintaining a quality understanding of industry standards. We do our best to maintain and update our shop with continuously changing technologies. Our goal is to provide as many real work experiences as we can for our students.”
Department chair Nick Schroder said, “I have been fortunate enough to come into our welding program after it was well established by the teachers before me. Their commitment, knowledge, and skill level has been the key in making this program successful. On top of that, we are very supported by our district administration and community overall. Our students realize they can have a great career and quality of life by becoming a welder in our area. Simply put, it is still “cool” to work with your hands here. When you mix all of that together along with our proximity to the Local 597, it creates a great situation for our young adults."