The American Welding Society Welding Trailer made a stop at Taylor Career and Technology Center March 6. “The trailer travels the United States with state of the art welding simulators,” explained Taylor Welding II Instructor Dusty Green. “It only visits high schools; no college and no industry.” Taylor Career Center shop students toured the trailer and had the opportunity to try their hand at welding, as well as learn more about a career path in the industry.
According to the American Welding Society, there will be a critical shortage of over 310,000 welding professionals by 2019. The Careers in Welding Trailer is the only mobile exhibit on the road today that offers an educational experience combined with career information to educate visitors on the opportunities available in the welding industry. Fitted with five virtual reality welding simulators, visitors can grab a welding gun and helmet equipped with internal monitors and put their skill to the test. Similar to a video game, the virtual welder then receives a score, allowing them to compete against others on board for the highest score.
In addition to the welding simulators, the 53 foot, single expandable trailer has 650 square feet of exhibit space that include a display wall featuring eleven industry segments with trivia questions, fun facts, and industry artifacts; a "Day in the Life of a Welder" exhibit with videos depicting real-life environments in which welders work; a life-size welder highlighting welding as a safe profession; a social media kiosk allowing visitors to take their photo and post to Facebook or email to a friend; welding scholarship information and more.
Currently, there are 51 students in Welding I and 26 in Welding II at the Taylor Career and Technology Center.