FRANKLIN COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — A fresh beginning for the Franklin County School District, as brand new welding facility has opened its doors for high school students.
The new welding lab at the Franklin County School costs approximately 2.1 million dollars. It was made possible by two Triumph Gulf Coast grants.
The 4,300 square foot facility has state-of-the-art resources, 15 welding bay as well as virtual technology welding.
“It used to be we were outside, and we couldn’t get out if it rained or lightning or weather was too bad. Now we’re in here and they can keep going right on through what they need to be doing,” said Welding Instructor, Mike Youngblood.
So far 45 students have been enrolled in the program since the past three years of its been in existence.
“People out there need to come do this class. And get this under their belt. Things might not always happen for them in the long run, they at least have this under their belt.” said 11th Grader, Blakely Curry.
“I barely knew what welding was when I started and now I already have one of my certifications. So it’s pretty fun.” said 11th Grader, Jamal Robinson.
“Sometimes it’s kinda hard to believe I’m in here for almost an hour ½ because sometimes it really doesn’t feel like it.” said 10th grader, Thomas Wagner.
Having this program available allows students to get ahead of the curve in technical education and earn their certifications for welding.
“If we can catch them in the 9th grade here, and run them through a program, like welding or culinary or medical or any of the others we have like drones, they get a head start. They can start taking classes in 9th grade, by the time they are a senior they can be earning college credits, certifications, and industry credentials,” said CTE Coordinator, David Hughes.
The hope is for the facility to eventually host night welding classes for adults in Franklin.