Welding classes prepare students for career in trades


Noah Molenda

Senior Gaven Karbowski practices his welding skills.

Senior Gavin Karbowski remembers when time when his father gave him a special present that changed his life.                                         

 “I got a T-shirt, a hoodie,and a welding hood. I pretty much fell in love with it,” he said. 

  Karbowski grew up watching his father weld and now he plans to make a career of it, too.

“I go out there and watch him do it, maybe help him do it, and I do that all the time,”  he said.

Karbowski wanted to take welding classes as soon as he reached high school. “I wasn’t the wasn’t the greatest at it, but I liked it enough to want to keep doing it,” he said.

The best thing about the class Karbowski said was he had more freedom.

“You’re not sitting at a desk, and you’re hands on,” he said. 

Welding is one of many career pathways available to students at MHS. Students also can take the classes as an elective.

“As programs continue to grow, students are becoming more aware of opportunities available in welding,” said Mr. Joseph Sokol, the welding instructor. “Until recently many of the students, especially incoming freshmen, were not aware of the opportunities available in welding.”

While there are hundreds of ways to weld metal, the classes at MHS focus on two of the most common methods. “The majority of our work is shielded metal arc welding (SMAW), commonly referred to as “stick” welding,” Mr. Sokol said.

Karbowski has advanced from beginning welding, where he barely knew anything to taking advanced welding this year. Advanced welding moves beyond learning the tools to actually assembling things. 

Next, he plans to take what he has learned at MHS and get an apprenticeship. 

Karbowski admitted that at first it was hard to keep his hands steady while moving the electrode. 

“After you start  to get comfortable and once you’re ready to do it, [controlling the hand shaking] is a skill you learn,” he said. “It’s just always going to be there. You can grow and improve.” 

He now knows when he has a good arc length and good weld. “When the slag falls right off,” he said, “There’s not a struggle with it, and it just falls right off.”