Owensboro Community and Technical College welding students were awarded first place in the school category of the 11th annual David Nuckols Memorial Welding Competition with several students placing individually.

The recent competition at Titan Contracting and Leasing in Owensboro saw OCTC's Erwin Perez awarded first place in the individual competition and Isaac Bosley in second place for OCTC as well.

Six other schools competed from Webster, Meade, Caldwell and Fleming counties, as well as from schools in southern Illinois. Students were scored on welding fusion, excessive reinforcement, joint penetration and a written test.

OCTC also won the same competition in 2016, according to welding program coordinator Barry Bowlds.

"We won the overall top school … we had also done that in 2016 too. That's twice that we've got the top school," he said.

OCTC's welding program is accredited by the American Welding Society, according to Bowlds, meaning the students are able to obtain national skill standards for welding through the program coursework.

Bowlds said OCTC is also in the process of expanding the welding program by offering more night classes and other flexible course hours along with an accelerated welding program.

"With the accelerated program, in 15 weeks, students can get their production line welders' certificate," he said.

The program is currently offering 12 hours of instruction each day, with 8 hours worth of classes during the day and four hours of classes at night.

"We've really increased the potential for people to take classes. We're trying to accommodate schedules," Bowlds said.

He said the program has also recently updated its facility and much of the equipment within it to provide students with better learning tools and to allow space for more students.

Currently, the school is able to admit about 18 new students into the program a semester.

cnetherton@mcleannews.com, 270-691-7360

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