CEU class teaches professionals to weld

Published 12:30 am Friday, April 14, 2017

What do a college president, a prosecutor, and a doctor in Andalusia have in common? These professionals and others recently completed a 10-session continuing education course in welding at LBW Community College in Opp.

Students in the course included LBW Community College President Dr. Herb Riedel, Covington County District Attorney Walt Merrell, Dr. Joseph Browning with Covington Obstetrics and Gynecology, Kenny Hughes with PowerSouth, and Ray Bramblett with Shaw Industries.

“This group of individuals were fast learners and have a variety of interests in learning welding,” said Chancey Wyatt, LBWCC welding faculty and course instructor.

She gave the examples of Hughes’ interest in learning stainless steel and aluminum welding for his air boat business. Browning’s interest is in blacksmithing and he restored an anvil for his class project, she said.

Bramblett’s main interest in the class was TIG welding, while Merrell and Riedel enrolled in the course for home projects, she added. Merrell’s project was creating a chandelier and Riedel built a trellis.

“This class provided an opportunity for me to learn the basics of welding, which is one of our fastest growing and most important credit programs,” said Riedel.

“It has been valuable for me to gain a better understanding of what is involved. I greatly respect the complexity of the field and the level of skill that must be developed to be a successful welder. Our instructor for the basic welding class, Chancey Wyatt, is an outstanding instructor, and very patient with beginners like me!”

Merrell said the course was a valuable learning experience.

“The idea of welding was intimidating because it was foreign to me. This was a good way to get my feet wet and test the waters,” he said.

“What I found was, because of the environment, atmosphere, and instructors, the intimidation was unwarranted. Welding is certainly a craft that needs to be respected. I realize that in time and with more instruction, that I could learn the craft well. I intend to take the class again and bring my teenage daughter with me as a student.”

LBWCC offers an array of short-term, non-credit, special-interest classes in person and online through the continuing education program.