State of the art welding lab opens at Rutherford High School


BAY COUNTY Fla. (WMBB) — Bay District Schools is celebrating the grand opening of a new welding lab at Rutherford High School.

The work done using these welding simulations could be the first step to a good-paying job for many Rutherford students.

Construction and technology teacher, Jason Rodgers, said the kids will learn the skills they need to succeed in the industry. 

“This gives them the opportunity to leave school with a trade with something that they can go out and make a living in if they choose,” Rodgers said. 

This lab is the first of its kind at a Bay County high school. 

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Rodgers will be teaching the new course. He said about 120 students have already signed up, eager to start their training. 

“I think it serves the community,” Rodgers said. “You know the superintendent alluded to earlier there’s a ton of construction going on in Bay County. Eastern Shipbuilding has huge contracts going on so there’s a real need and a real opportunity for these kids to make a living.”

Rodgers said the students will start with the basics done on Chromebooks and then they will move to hands-on learning. 

In the class, students will be using virtual reality to complete their training and understand what a real-life welding situation would be like.

Rutherford junior Logan Greene is just starting to learn how to use VR equipment. 

He said the technology teaches future welders the correct posture and speed in the craft. 

Greene said he feels the course will help him achieve his career goals.

“My plan is going to Haney and then hopefully getting a job somewhere that they’d fit me in and I’d make enough money and eventually be an entrepreneur of my own business,” Greene said.

Greene said a lot of kids around Rutherford have been showing interest in the course.

The course is a perfect segway for students looking to go to a technical school like Haney. 

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