Photo by Becca Urrutia/Viking-David Root, left, and Josie Meugniot are enrolled in a metal fabrication technology class. A new program combines classes to help students obtain better employment opportunities in the many career paths related to metal fabrication and welding industries.


By Becca Urrutia / Staff Writer




Classes that were once known as welding and sheet metal are now included in the metal fabrication technology classes.
Tim Shoemaker, a metal fabrication teacher, said, “The program is a comprehensive set of minimum standards and guidelines and is to the advantage of students, which will begin in the Fall.   Students will have better employment opportunities in the many career paths that are related to metal fabrication and welding industries.”
The classes will emphasize sheet-metal layout, fabrication, and an option for welding courses as part of the student’s certificate or degree. The student also will have the opportunity to take the industry recognized Los Angeles City structural welding certification performance test.  If passed, the student will receive an industry-recognized certificate.
Shoemaker is also an American Welding Society-certified educator and teaches metal fabrication and welding courses.
Patrick Heeb also teaches courses in metal fabrication.  Robert Johnson is the vocational instructional aide in the program and club adviser for the Metal Fabrication Club.
The PCC welding lab has been approved as a Los Angeles City welding test lab.  Shoemaker also said he hopes that final approval will be given to the teachers to administer welding tests. Marlin Stevens is the welding vocational instructional aide and he maintains the welding lab and monitors welding certification tests.
Shoemaker said, “The shops are set up so that it moves from beginning to end.”  The student work-stations will help expedite training and shop instruction.
“In metal fabrication, students start from a blueprint, select the correct sheet size and move on to the next step to produce a final product. Everything is hands-on so valuable techniques are part of the training,” Shoemaker said.
Deandre Parks, 31, a metal fabrication major, said, “When I get certification, it will improve the quality of life for my family.”
David Root, 48, student trustee, said, “I want to open an auto body shop and metal fabrication is a large part of it.”
Students can seek jobs depending on their skill level, from an entry-level position to advanced skills.  Many jobs in welding are manufacturing welder fabricator, certified pipe welder fitter and the hottest welding jobs are in certified welding inspectors, engineers, technicians, managers and supervisors.
Welding courses are also taught by a staff of part-time teachers.
Julie Schneider, Che Chancy, Victor Silva and Charles Deering. They contribute years of industry teaching experience.
Students learn the machinery including details of bending and cutting. Design aspects of the creations include sheet metal artistry.
Josie Meugniot, 49, a metal fabrication  major, held up cuttings that were painted and said, ”These are only a few designs we can make.”
Students can explore the education grants available and each industry has its own funding.