Worcester Tech In Running For Cash Prize

Worcester Tech In Running For Cash Prize
Worcester Tech students Kevin Rodriguez and Ryder Ridout are pictured welding. Photo by Charlene Sharpe

NEWARK – Welding students at Worcester Technical High School are hoping a national contest could bring them a new classroom.

Worcester Technical High School is one of three finalists in the Channellock Trade School Trade-Up contest. If the school’s video earns the most votes in the tool company’s Facebook contest, the school could win a $5,000 cash prize, new tools and a classroom makeover.

“Welding is in its fourth year at Worcester Tech,” Principal Tom Zimmer said. “It’s one of the most demanded classes. Getting more tools will allow us to expose more students to the welding world.”

Last month, students in the welding program began working with students in Worcester Tech’s technology and carpentry programs to create a video to enter this year’s Channellock contest. The two-minute video they created features welding students at work and explains why they want to win this year’s contest, which was open to high schools and colleges throughout the United States.

“Our trade programs work very closely together,” said educational assistant Tammy Hauck, adding that various teachers had assisted and technology students had used computer assisted drafting to design the sign students in the video are seen welding. “Winning isn’t just for welding it’s for every trade in the building.”

She said the welding program, which is offered to sophomores, juniors and seniors, is increasing in popularity. More than 40 students applied to take part in it this year but the school was able to accept less than half of them.

“We need more tools and equipment,” Hauck said. “Everybody’s taking turns. With more equipment we could house more students safely.”

Sophomores Ryder Ridout and Kevin Rodriguez consider themselves lucky to have gotten into the program. Ridout still recalls watching a neighbor weld something when he was seven years old.

“I’ve wanted to do it since then,” he said.

Worcester Tech’s welding program was started four years ago, as its manufacturing program was phased out. There are now 22 students enrolled and educators are hoping that number can increase with more tools and equipment, which they’re hoping come as a result of this week’s Channellock contest.

“We’re trying to put the word out,” Zimmer said.

To vote for Worcester Tech, visit the Channellock Facebook page and “like” Worcester Tech’s video. Voting ends at 11:59 p.m. Oct. 20 and can be done at https://www.facebook.com/channellock/?ref=br_rs

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.