What is the saying . . ."Summertime and the living is easy?" Not lately around here in the Vantage school district, which covers Van Wert, Paulding, part of Putnam, and Mercer counties. Electric power is restored now to thousands of area residents who lost it after the severe storms passed through on June 29, but we all got a taste of "life on the prairie" during an intense heat wave last week, where nearly everyone went three to eight days without electricity. More than once, my car's outdoor temperature display read "105"!
A few of our Vantage alumni, from our AWS certified Welding training program, got a taste of Texas heat in Ft. Worth during June-- Rylee Carlisle, Paulding Exempted Village Schools, 2010-11 and Todd Akom, Wayne Trace Local Schools, 2009-10. They, along with a few other Vantage students who graduated just this year, spent the month of June training at Ft. Worth Towers, (FWT) in Ft. Worth, Texas. These students are exceptional welders, and our program's quality instruction prepared them to be hired by FWT at their new facility in Hicksville, Ohio. (FWT makes transmission towers for the nation's power grid, as well as other types of transmission towers).
As a certified welding training facility, for high school and adult students, Vantage Career Center will also train and certify several of FWT's new welders to prepare them for the specific welds required at the Hicksville facility. FWT needs 200 welders by October, 2012 and another 100 by the following summer in 2013.
The towers made by FWT are crafted of 1 inch or more heavy gauge steel, and Rylee and Todd have moved right up to layout, moving quickly past route welding the seams on huge tower pieces. These young men from Paulding county, said they love Ft. Worth, except for the 102 degree heat! Soon they will be back in Ohio, welding full-time at FWT in Hicksville, and probably NOT escaping the Texas heat, judging by how our summer is going so far! Check out their pictures, which were taken in Ft. Worth in June. Rylee and Todd are a perfect example of career technical education in Ohio--two years of high school training at a career center in a specific trade, and moving on to employment in a solid job while earning good wages. They are an example of why I love working in career technical education, and have done so for 22 years. It just doesn't get better than this!