Somerset Community College Welding Students Bring Home Honors in Skills USA Kentucky | SCC

Somerset Community College Welding Students Bring Home Honors in Skills USA Kentucky

Above: First Place Postsecondary Welding Fabrication Team: Back row: Scott Jennings, ESAB. Front row, (l to r): Curtis Causey (Crab Orchard), James Bradley Phelps (Somerset), and Aaron Franklin (Liberty).

Above: SkillsUSA KY Welding Post-Secondary Division: Back row: G. Scott Jennings, ESAB. Front row, (l to r): Jonathan Miller (2nd, Mt. Vernon), Somerset Community College; Tilden Cross, (3rd), Elizabethtown Technical College; and Doug Costello, (1st, Somerset), Somerset Community College.
By: Fran Dundon
SkillsUSA KY State Business and Industry Director

When long-time welding fabrication chairman and Somerset Community College (SCC) Welding Technology Associate Professor Karl Watson found out SkillsUSA KY was going to help the Active Heroes organization, he immediately offered assistance because of the value he places on the veterans of our nation.

With this in mind, Watson created a grill project that would serve a useful purpose. He also set a goal of getting all the materials donated. According to Watson, when the people he contacted found out who the beneficiaries of the project would be, donations were not difficult to obtain.

This year, welding fabrication teams were put to the test not only from a competitive standpoint, but a patriotic standpoint as well. Competitors knew the grills were being donated to the Active Heroes Retreat for veterans and their families to use. Somehow that information gave each team member a little extra initiative and effort to produce the best welding skills possible.

In addition to all of donated supplies for the project, ESAB, Lincoln Electric and Miller provided grand prizes for the first through third place team members. It was a wonderful opportunity for good welding competitors to walk away with arm loads of prizes and feel satisfied that they were helping Americas veterans.

As the son of a Korean War Veteran, I was personally very pleased to be able to contribute in a small way to a very worthwhile endeavor such as Active Heroes, said Watson. Veterans give so much for this country and any chance that we have to pass on a token of our appreciation - it should be taken. Id like to thank everyone who made it possible to construct and donate the park grills. I thought this years contest was probably the highest quality project this contest has produced and, I think it was that way because the contestants took extra pride in their work this year knowing the grills were going to the Active Heroes Retreat for veterans.

Donors for the project included: Travis Mattingly, Caldwell Tanks; Martin Shearer/Mark Bastin, Somerset Pulaski Co. Dev. Foundation; Danny Sumpter, Lakeside Sandblasting; AMVETS Riders Chapter 125; and Travis Skelton, SBR Machinery Movers, LLC.

SCC students took home first place in the post-secondary welding fabrication competition. The team consisted of Curtis Causey (Crab Orchard), James Bradley Phelps (Somerset) and Aaron Franklin (Liberty).

SCC students also brought home honors in post-secondary welding competition. Doug Costello (Somerset) won first place and Jonathan Miller (Mt. Vernon) brought home second place honors at the competition, which featured an all-time high number of competitors.
Winners from the state level will go on to compete at the national SkillsUSA competition in Kansas City, Missouri from June 23-28, 2014. This year marks the 50th annual National Leadership and Skills Conference (NLSC), a showcase of career and technical education students.
To find out more about Active Heroes, Troy Yocum, president, visit