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February 2019

$30,000 in prizes and scholarships awarded in 2019 Weldathon at ASUN-Jonesboro

Arkansas State University-Newport and Ozarc Gas hosted the tenth annual Weldathon on Feb. 21, 2019, at ASUN-Jonesboro with 14 area high schools participating. Thanks to industry partners and sponsors, $30,000 in prizes and scholarships were awarded to winners of the Weldathon along with door prizes. 

Teams of three competed and were given three hours to build a metal bench. Students were given blueprints and necessary materials to test their welding skills and knowledge. Buffalo Island Central, Cross County, Greene County Tech, Hoxie, Marked Tree, NEA Career and Tech Center, Nettleton, Palestine Wheatly, Paragould, Piggott, Rector, Rivercrest, Riverside and Valley View High Schools participated in the event. 

 First place winners pictured from left: Braden Austin, Aaron Sherrill and Noah Bishop
 First place winners pictured from left: Braden Austin, Aaron Sherrill and Noah Bishop

First place in the Weldathon went to Rivercrest High School, lead by Dave Diagostino. The school won a Fronius Transteel Welding System. Braden Austin, Aaron Sherrill and Noah Bishop each received a $6,000 scholarship to ASU-Newport along with a Fronius Auto-Darkening Helmet, backpack and welding jacket. 

Second place winners pictured from left: Jonathan Hood, Jackson Lewallen and Baley Bolla
Second place winners pictured from left: Jonathan Hood, Jackson Lewallen and Baley Bolla

Marmaduke High School, lead by Casey Wells, took second place. The school won a Fronius Transteel Welding System. Jonathan Hood, Jackson Lewallen and Baley Bolla each received $4,000 scholarships to ASU-Newport in addition to a Fronius Auto Darkening Welding Hood, backpack and welding jacket. 

Third place winners pictured from left: Dylan Bellers, Brandon Wellman and Dylan West
Third place winners pictured from left: Dylan Bellers, Brandon Wellman and Dylan West

Third place in the Weldathon went to Piggott High School, under the direction of Casey Simpson. The school won a Fronius Transteel Welding System. Dylan Bellers, Brandon Wellman and Dylan West each received a $2,000 scholarship to ASU-Newport along with a Fronius Auto Darkening Welding Hood, backpack and welding jacket. 

"The NEA Weldathon was started 10 years ago by ASUN and Ozarc Gas to promote the welding industry to our local high schools," said Ken Beach, Associate Dean for Applied Science/Senior Instructor of Welding at ASUN. "Students are required to demonstrate all the skill sets used in the welding industry to produce a usable item that will be taken back to their home shop. This allows students to show off their work to future students and allows the instructor to critique the part and help them know where they need to focus their educational efforts. The NEA Weldathon is also a Career Fair. Our goal is to connect the students with the industries that are looking for a highly skilled workforce.  All corporate sponsors are encouraged to attend and assist in the promotion of skilled trades as an enjoyable and high demand career." 

Students taking part in the 2019 Weldathon.

This competition would not be possible without industry supporters and sponsors. Diamond sponsors for the Weldathon were American Railcar Industries, Arkansas State University-Newport, Fronius USA, LLC., Hytrol Conveyor, Ozarc Gas Equipment & Supply, Inc. and the Workforce Training Consortium. Platinum sponsors included Ace Industrial Products, Bohler Welding Products, Nucor Hickman and Trinity Industries. Gold sponsors were ESAB Welding and Cutting, Lincoln Electric Company and Weldcote Abrasives. Silver sponsors were Allen Engineering, American Torch Tip Company and Engines, Inc. Bronze sponsors included Employee Solutions, Gateway Sales, Power Equipment, Profax/Lenco, John Tillman Company, Elco Enterprises and Weldsafe, Inc. 

Students making final touches on their Weldathon progect.