Harrisburg students learn to weld thanks to business partnership

(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

HARRISBURG, AR (KAIT) - A Region 8 school's partnership with a local manufacturing business is allowing students to learn skills they can use after graduation.

Harrisburg High School and Apex Tool Group in Jonesboro work together to teach seniors how to weld.

Luke Hinchman, manufacturing engineer at Apex, said students are learning a lot.

"It's a much more in-depth structured program rather than just welding two pieces of metal together," Hinchman said. "It's actual construction of a leak-proof weld."

There are seven seniors taking the welding course this semester.

"Just getting their feet wet in the industrial environment whether it be maintenance, material handling, shipping, receiving, quality, just the true root of manufacturing," Hinchman said.

While students take home a skill that can be used in a career, Hinchman said it also benefits the future of their company.

"We can kind of shape and mold them, and they can find out if they like it," Hinchman said.

Katlyn Miller and Brian Mink are both seniors taking the welding course.

"I feel pretty lucky," Miller said. "I've jumped around a bunch to different schools and stuff, and it's like luck to land here and be able to get this opportunity."

While both plan to go to college, they see the course as a backup plan.

"It's just a good learning opportunity," Mink said. "I feel like it could really help us out in the long run."

Hinchman said welding is a trained skill and can be a lucrative career.

Those with Apex and Harrisburg School District praised the partnership and being able to provide this for students.

Harrisburg High School plans to add more students to the course next semester and open it up to other grades in the future.

Copyright 2017 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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