Jackson and Josephine Counties – More than 180 local high school students who have a spark for creation and a fire for high-paying careers are participating in the 2023 Rogue Community College (RCC) Weld-a-Thon on March 1. Students compete for skill-based honors, prizes and one of five scholarships to RCC’s welding program.
Hosted at RCC’s Table Rock Campus in White City, students from 12 Southern Oregon high schools will undertake 13 timed welding and manufacturing skill contests that pose tests for beginning and advanced students. A team event will task groups of three to build a fire pit from raw materials.
In addition to the contests, participants can join a scavenger hunt and meet recruiters from John Deere, Pape Machinery, and Peterson Cat, as well as have opportunities to learn about college programs and financial aid. Prizes for individual winners and the team event have been donated by Industrial Source and Central Welding Supply.
Participating high schools include several in Jackson and Josephine counties: South Medford, North Medford, North Valley, Grants Pass, Eagle Point, Rogue River and Phoenix. Additional schools include Marshfield (Coos County), Douglas and Elkton (Douglas County), Etna (Siskiyou County, California) and Pacific (Curry County).
According to RCC organizers, the event aims to engage students from regional high schools into the college experience and ignite excitement in trade careers. Manufacturing and industry employer representatives will be on hand to advise contestants and to share information on career opportunities in a variety of settings.
RCC’s Industrial Welding Technology program is one of the fastest growing career technical education pathways offered at the college. According to RCC Welding Instructor Anthony Knight, “Graduates are being snapped up for good-paying jobs immediately upon graduation.” The Oregon Department of Employment anticipates a 16.3% growth in jobs in the industrial welding field in southern Oregon over the next 10 years, according to the department’s website.
The event begins at 8 a.m. with contest activities through 12:30 p.m. An awards ceremony will follow a hosted lunch, wrapping up the day by 2:30 p.m. The event will be held in the High Tech Center (B Building) at the RCC Table Rock Campus at 7800 Pacific Avenue, White City. For more information on the event, contact welding instructor Anthony Knight at email@example.com or 541-956-7341.
For general media inquiries or to schedule an interview with RCC staff, please contact Kelly Gonzales, Public Information Officer, Marketing Director, at 541-956-7525, firstname.lastname@example.org.