Cherokee High School welding teacher Darryl Jones works with 11th-grader Andrew Tang during class. The Career Pathway in welding is offered at Cherokee HS and Creekview HS.
The Cherokee County School District offers 38 Career Pathway high school programs, which provide students with a wide selection of job exploration and preparation electives. Through CCSD Pathway Profiles, we’ll regularly share highlights with you from one of these programs. This week’s profile focuses on welding, which is offered at Cherokee High School and, new for this school year, also is offered at Creekview HS as an after-school dual enrollment program with Chattahoochee Technical College.
The Cherokee County School District’s Career Pathway welding program sparks students’ interest in the in-demand skilled profession.
The program has long been offered at Cherokee High School, where Pathway completers are regularly hired by local employers after graduation. New this school year, the Pathway is being offered at Creekview High School as an after-school dual enrollment program with Chattahoochee Technical College.
“Not every student is going to college, and career classes will get them started on the path to making a good living and being able to provide for their families,” said teacher Darryl Jones, who has taught welding for 16 years with the last six years at Cherokee HS. “I love teaching all of the different types of welding and watching students’ eyes light up when they figure out how to weld the process that they are on.”
Mr. Jones began his career as a pipe welder and worked for 25 years in the industry, mainly for power plants and nuclear power plants. He shifted to teaching to “give back to the community and help students to get started and make a career in welding.” [Click here to see more photos from his classes.]
The program has forged many success stories, including Weston Moody of the Class of 2017. “He went to work with Chart Industries as a welder the day he turned 18 and is still with them,” Mr. Jones said.
Cherokee HS senior Carter Goodrow said he will be better prepared for job opportunities thanks to his welding classes. “This Pathway is a great way for me to learn the necessary skills to properly perform in the work force,” he said.
Within the Pathway, classes offered include: industry fundamentals and occupational safety, introduction to metals and welding. Students can earn Welding 2 ASW industry certification and can compete in SkillsUSA state and national career skills contests.
This Pathway prepares students for careers including, but not limited to: welder, solderer and brazer, sheet metal worker, metal pattern maker, construction manager, aerospace operations technician, mechanical engineering technician, aircraft mechanic and service technician.
The average income range for careers in this Pathway in Georgia is $41,000 to $98,000. Local and area employers for this Pathway include, but are not limited to: Chart Industries, Raydeo Enterprises Inc., Georgia Power, Universal Alloy, Cobb EMC, Kirk-Rudy Inc., Consolidated Engineering Company, Trinity Industries, The Furniture Guild, Morgan Truck Body, IC Biomedical, Voyager Trucking Corp., Lockheed Martin Corp., Cobb Industrial Inc., CMI, Practix Mfg. LLC, Cobb Industrial Fabricators, McNichols, American BOA Inc., Super Source.