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Aiken Technical College Students Place in Annual Welding Competition

Staff Report From Aiken CEO

Thursday, June 7th, 2018

Aiken Technical College welding students placed in each category of the 2018 South Carolina Technical College Welding Competition held in late April at Central Carolina Technical College.

ATC was among 10 technical colleges competing in the annual event, which challenges students to display their skills in a timed environment. The following students placed in the competition:

  • Elisha Israel, of Edgefield, placed first in category 1—gas tungsten arc welding tee joint, 3F carbon steel/aluminum, and gas metal arc welding butt joint, 3G carbon steel;
  • Derek Barnhart, of Aiken, placed second in category 2: shielded metal arc welding tee joint, 3F/4F carbon steel;
  • Kristina Miller, of Aiken, placed third in category 3: shielded metal arc welding butt joint, 3G/4G carbon steel;
  • Alex Vera, of Hephzibah, Ga., placed sixth in category 4: shielded metal arc welding pipe, 6G carbon steel;
  • Noah Slate, of Aiken, placed second in category 5: gas tungsten arc and shielded metal arc welding pipe, 6G carbon steel;
  • and Ben Caldwell, of North Augusta, placed third in category 6: gas tungsten arc welding pipe, 6G stainless steel.

The annual competition gives students an opportunity to test their skills under pressure and prepares them for similar environments in the industry, said Keith Cusey, welding department chair.

“In order for students to gain their first welding position, they will have a job interview which will include a hands-on weld skill assessment test,” he said. “This test will include aspects that we, as a college, can only assimilate through a competition because the student will not get multiple chances to complete the test correctly as well as the student will have to set-up in an unfamiliar work area and use a welding machine that they have never used before.”

Those interested in learning more about ATC’s welding program are encouraged to attend the Technical Education Open House on Friday, June 22 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Attendees will have a chance to learn about the available programs, meet with faculty and tour the lab. To register for the open house, visit


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