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High school students are investing their time to learn welding to prepare them for a steady career after school

By Jefferson Tyler, Multimedia Journalist

ELDON, IA (KYOU) – Cardinal High School in Eldon, is preparing teenagers for a highly sought after profession, after they graduate. 18-year-old Seth Steen is planning for his future. “Welders are in need these days because there is a shortage. And if you’re willing to do the work they will pay you good money,” said Steen.

He is one of 20 students in cardinal High School’s new two year welding program being held in conjunction with Indian Hills College.

Over the course of two years, they will get a welding certificate. So they will be able to do several types of welding for wenger, john Deere,etc…” said Cardinal High School Principal Jeremy Hissem.

“The flux on the electrode brings to the top all the impurities. You clean that all off and then you have a good weld underneath,” said Cardinal High School Welding Instructor Andy Brainard.

It’s a lot more complex field than many people realize. John Deere or Verneer if you leave that slag on top of your weld. You’re going to paint it. Down the road. All the slag falls off. Leaves an exposed weld that just getting weathered and rained on.

In some cases, if you get it wrong. It could cost lives.

“Bridge or building if you didn’t get the right weld. The steel is going to weaken and snap and probably collapse,” said Steen.

This welding class teaches students different types of welding. And lets them practice it until they get it right.

For Steen, it’s about learning a field he’s fallen in love with, from watching the pipelines work right outside his door.
“Look off to the distance to the pipeline and just see the all the bright blue arc rays from welders working at the same time,” said Steen.

And earning a living when he graduates in the spring.

The program does not promise job placement. But students do get a welding certificate which allows them to work right out of school. The program is part of their High School curriculum. So it won’t cost them anything extra to do the program that takes 2 years to complete.


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