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Welding students take home 6 awards at Behind the Mask Welding Competition

Central Lakes College Welding students took a majority of the awards at the 2018 American Welding Society’s Behind the Mask Welding Competition, held recently in Eveleth.

The competition was for both students and industry professionals. CLC students placed in 6 of the 9 award categories, coming out on top over both industry professionals and other college students.

“We are incredibly proud of our welding students, both those who placed and everyone who competed,” said Rebekah Kent, Dean of Brainerd Career and Technical Programs & Customized Training. “It takes a lot of courage to participate in a high-pressure competition like this, and to have our students place in 6 out of the 9 categories is really a testament to the instruction students receive at CLC.”

This was the first time CLC welding students competed in this event. For each category, students have 25 minutes to complete the task, which involved reading a blueprint and welding the project as directed. Once completed, their work was inspected and judged by industry Certified Welding Inspectors.

“The reason we do competitions like this is for a real-life experience for our students,” said Dave Otto, CLC Welding instructor. “They will have to do similar weld tests during a job interview, so this was a really good learning experience.”

CLC President Dr. Hara Charlier added, “Our welding classes are under the direction a dynamic and passionate team of instructors. We are incredibly proud of each of our student’s effort and talent. I look forward to seeing their continued success both in the classroom and in the workforce.”


CLC Results:

SMAW (Shielded Metal Arc Welding)

First place:      Alan Pietila

Second Place:  Greg Rider

Third Place:     Kyle Power


GMAW (Gas Metal Arc Welding)

First place:      Greg Rider


GTAW (Gas Tungsten Arc Welding)

            First Place:      Tristen Hulke

Third Place:     Greg Rider

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