Welding graduates find high-paying employment

Charles Warner cwarner@civitasmedia.com

February 9, 2014

UNION COUNTY — Three of the four students who graduated from the welding program at the Union County Advanced Technology Center late last year have already gotten jobs with one of them already earning more than $30 an hour.

In December, the center graduated its first class of welding students. Of the 12 students enrolled in the course, four opted to graduate while eight opted to continue in order to get more advanced degrees.

During Wednesday’s meeting of the Union County Technology Center Advisory Committee, Welding Instructor Jason Pace informed the committee that three of the four graduates are now putting the skills they learned to use in high-paying jobs.

“We have one that took a job at Greenville-Spartanburg Airport on a new federal expansion going on up there,” Pace said. “He’s at thirty-plus dollars an hour and he’s getting forty-plus hours a week.”

Pace added that his former student has told him that he has the opportunity to work up to seven days a week on his job which he said will last for four years.

“Another took a job at Renfro Brothers and he’s at twenty-five-plus an hour,” Pace said. “The third one went to work at Confab, a pretty good sized metal fabrication company in Spartanburg. I don’t know what his wage is, but I’m sure it is substantial.”

Pace said the fourth graduate has not yet found a job.

In addition to teaching his students about welding, Pace said he also makes recommendations to them about finding a job they can use their skills at and earn the living they desire.

“I tell them when they get through this class to go and Google ‘SC Welding,’ see where the jobs are, and go where they want to go,” Pace said.

The welding program continues to be popular at the center. Pace said there are 15 students enrolled in the morning class and 13 in the afternoon class. He said the slots are all filled for the current semester.

For more information about the welding program and other classes offered at the Union County Advanced Technology Center call 864-466-1060.

Charles Warner can be reached at 864-427-1234, Ext. 14.