Welding: Back on the Curriculum

Hanover High School metal shop reopens after 20 years

Welding is back on the curriculum at Hanover High School in Hanover, PA. The school’s metal shop has reopened after 20 years thanks to support from the local community and donations and equipment from Hanover-area businesses, including ESAB.

A need to satisfy the demand of local employers for skilled workers drove the effort to reopen the metal shop, led by Superintendent John Scola. According to Scola, 20 percent of Hanover-area jobs are in the manufacturing field – double that of the national average.
“In meeting with community leaders, we saw a real need for workers trained in the metal industry and in particular in welding, which follows a nationwide trend,” said Scola. “Technical schools don’t seem to be meeting this need.”

More than $90,000 in donations helped fund the state-of-the-art metal shop, which is laid out to resemble a factory floor, and includes welding, machining and fabrication equipment.

ESAB provided welding machines, personal protection equipment and filler metals, including MigMaster® 280 Pro and Heliarc® power sources, PUROX® Elite Series Metal Master outfits, New Tech Auto Darkening welding helmets, as well as filler metals Spoolarc and Atom Arc 7018 Acclaim for the metal shop.

Classes are offered in MIG, TIG, Stick and oxy-acetylene welding, as well as bending, forming and shearing, machining technology and Computer-aided Design (CAD). Foundry and casting classes are planned for the future. The program also offers welding certification for qualified students.

Scola reports that there’s been much interest in the metal shop both from students and parents, and community support has been overwhelmingly positive. About 50 percent of the school’s male student body is enrolled in the metal shop program.

The hands-on instruction helps prepare students to enter the workforce upon graduation or progress to additional technical or trade school training.

“Our students are gaining vast experience in all forms of metal working, enhancing their opportunity for a well-paying job,” said Scola. “Our local businesses recognize that their investment is returned in a qualified work force.

The program also gives students more options.

“As educators, we want to open as many windows of opportunity that we can for our children,” added Scola. “By revitalizing the metal shop, our message to students is that they have a choice.”

(Click images for larger view.)