He did his best to follow the blueprint assigned for the SkillsUSA Regional Competition. But he’s only been the ma-chine metalwork class for a couple of weeks – so there were some mistakes.
He pointed to the middle of the piece where it was sup-posed to be significantly larger than it was.
“I liked welding alright,” said Whitmire, a 10th grader at Cedartown High School. “I like this better. It seems more exciting to me.”
Whitmire said he began taking welding when he started high school, but in January his teacher started teaching him and another student metal work instead.
Friday morning he was testing out his new skill during the SkillsUSA competition held at Georgia Northwestern Technical College. The competition tests a wide range of skills from job interviewing, architectural drafting, plumbing to welding.
The first and second place students at the regional competition move on to state.
In addition to the eternal glory of winning a contest, students also get an opportunity to practice their trade skills.
Bart Jenkins, machine tool and technology instructor at GNTC, said this encouragement is invaluable because a lot of machinists are retiring with very few younger people moving in to replace them.
He said that the kids who competed Friday did well despite their inexperience.
While looking over Whitmire’s novice sample, he complimented his efforts considering he’s only been working on the machine for about three weeks.
“They’re doing well,” Jenkins said. “It’s a broad range. Somebody’s who been doing it two weeks is not going to do as well as somebody’s who’s been doing it two years.”