Seacoast students compete for scholarships for college welding programs
GREENLAND – Cars, planes, bridges, pipelines and highways are all in part created and sustained by welding. Without welders the world would fall apart.
An effort to support the career field is taking shape on the Sea Coast and statewide – combining high school and community college students with great help from Novel Iron Works, a structural steel fabrication company.
New Hampshire’s first regional welding competition between local high schools in partnership with community colleges was held at the family-owned Novel Iron Works facility on Friday. Students from the Seacoast School of Technology (SST) in Exeter, the Regional Career Technical Center in Dover and the Portsmouth Career Technical Education Center vied for pride and scholarships.
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Hollie Noveletsky, CEO of Novel Iron Works, started the day with a rally of all.
âThis program is based entirely on the work of one of my colleagues in the steel industry, Rex Lewis, owner of Puma Steel in Wyoming,â she said. âHe started this program about five years ago with his local community college. I wanted to reproduce it here. ”
Noveletsky has credited partnerships with other state steelmakers and the Community College System of New Hampshire.
âWe have wonderful partnerships that have come together for the benefit of students, industry and the state,â she said. “We are just hoping to recruit young people into careers in welding and increase the state’s pool of qualified welders.”
Bill Schefer, welding technology instructor at Portsmouth CTE, watched one of his students compete.
“It’s Addison Kady,” he said as sparks shot from a tool he was using. “I call him a ‘store rat’,” he laughs and says, “That’s the biggest compliment you can give anyone.”
Schefer, who has welded for 50 years, said Kady is always looking to learn. “It’s really exciting to see a student when they finally learn it and start to own a skill.”
A common theme that instructors, judges and owners of Novel Iron Works talk about today is the lack of welders to hire. Noveletsky, agreed, adding, “We need to add more qualified young welders to the New Hampshire workforce.”
Josh Rosenthal Noveletsky, President of Novel Iron Works, is a welder and was heavily involved in the organization of the competition.
âIt’s pretty awesome,â he said. âThere aren’t a lot of people going into the trades right now, so seeing a bunch of people who are really interested and want to do the best they can and compete for a scholarship is not wrong.”
Glancing at the students, he added, âThere is a lot of potential out there and effort is the key and wanting to do well is 90%. You can teach skills, but you can’t teach work ethics, so the fact that they’re here is huge. “
The Portsmouth team swept the top three spots in the competition, with Kady winning a $ 1000 scholarship for any CCSNH welding program, Dan Mitchel placing second for a $ 500 scholarship and John Shortill placing third, also for a $ 500 scholarship.
The top graduates advance to participate in a statewide competition to be held on May 21 at Manchester Community College, where the first finalist will receive a $ 2,000 scholarship and $ 1,500 scholarships will be awarded for the second and third place.
“We want to raise awareness of the critical need for qualified welders in our state, provide financial assistance for students to get started in welding, and let students know that they can make a good living doing what they want.” like to do, âHollie Noveletsky mentioned. “If welding is their passion, they can make a good living doing what they love to do every day. So work isn’t just work.”