The students of the Pike County CTC Welding Program created, from design to completed project, a set of well-made and much needed steps for the Pike County Airport. The entire project took weeks as students, under the supervision of Instructor Jay Osborne, used the skills they’ve learned to create the steps that enable access to the top of the fuel tanks at the airport. Pike CTC staff and administrators, the Pike County Commissioners and the Airport Director recognized the significance and importance of the project through their attendance at the installation of the steps.

According to Commissioner Tony Montgomery, Pike County continues to operate on a tight budget and the students lending their skills made what could have been a very expensive proposition into a high-quality product that only cost the county the price of materials. Director Tim Dickerson added that having to use a ladder to access the tops of the tanks is more dangerous and less efficient. The steps provide a safe way to do required fuel tests and will save the Airport and the County the cost of the fuel plus reduce the likelihood of having accidents. The steps allow for re-instituting fuel into the tanks that is drawn for testing for contaminants that could make the fuel un-usable for aircraft flying in and out of the airport.

Students of the Welding Program, numbering approximately 45, learn the trade and skills that make them job-ready when they graduate. Graduates are D11 certified in the trade and are qualified to enter many work environments. Work opportunities include Union welders, boilermakers, fabricators, pipefitters, and working in the construction and highway companies, and at local businesses like Kenworth in Ross County. The program is available to juniors and seniors at the CTC and there is no cost to the students except the need for leather boots. Even the D11 Welding Certification is paid for through the school.

Instructor Osborne said the project allowed students to showcase their skills and do a community-minded project. He remarked that the steps were a great project for the students, teaching/honing skills such as layout, designing and producing a quality result.

“The Welding Program at the CTC is a great success and I am very proud of it and the students,” stated Osborne.

It is no secret that learning a trade offers many benefits to those who are interested in entering the work force in a field that offers good wages, abundant job opportunities, and even travel options. Graduation from a trade program allows students to avoid some of the unpleasantries of pursuing a traditional college program. The trades are taught quicker, allowing the student to enter the work force in two years without having to face student loan debt. If you or your student are interested in learning a career trade you may explore your options by visiting the Pike County CTC website at for more information.

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