Welding team places first, heads to state

Published 8:30 am Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Buckingham High School won first place in a district competition and is now preparing to go to state next month.

On Saturday, Feb. 19, the Buckingham Career and Technical Education Center at Buckingham County High School held the SkillsUSA District 2 Welding Fabrication Contest.

This competition had teams from across the district, including Buckingham High School and The Academy at Virginia Randolph in Glen Allen. The students who participated had to be in good academic standing in order to participate.

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SkillsUSA is a career and technical student organization that focuses on training students for technical and skilled occupations. The organization’s goal is to help students with personal skills, workplace skills and technical skills grounded in academics.

For this competition, students had to design and build a welding burning table. In teams of three, the students started the competition by creating a design and ideas to show the judges. After approval, the students spent five hours creating the tables from raw iron.

“The competitions have them build something we can use or need in the shop,” said Chris Walter, welding instructor and SkillsUSA Adviser at Buckingham CTE. “We’ve actually used the table in the shop a few times already this week, so it’s not something random that will go to waste.”

Buckingham placed first and third in the competition. The first place team will advance to the SkillsUSA Virginia State Conference and Championships that will take place in April in Virginia Beach. Members of the teams are Jacob Palmore, James Falvella and Javon Baker, who placed first, and Tyler Padgett, Ethan Martin and Scott Austin Jr., who placed third.

Buckingham has never made it to nationals, but according to Walter, this year’s team has worked very hard and will do great representing the county at the state competition.

“We just met with the contestants yesterday and they are preparing and excited to go to states,” said Walter.