Southeastern Technical College

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Vidalia Campus
Swainsboro Campus
(912) 538-3186


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Former STC Welding Student is making an Artistic Impact on Local Community

January 9, 2017 – Chase Tipps, a 2011 diploma graduate of Southeastern Technical College’s Welding & Joining Technology program, is now making his mark across the Lyons and Vidalia area through his artistic blend of design and welding.

Although Tipps said “I’d been hands on all my life,” he came to STC with no prior welding experience. Michael Crumpler, the staple of the Welding program on STC’s Vidalia campus, noted that one of the major benefits of the program is that a student can come in without any knowledge of welding whatsoever and be fully prepared for a well-paying job after 3-4 semesters of hands-on experience.

Tipps added that, “it was always a challenge,” particularly in reference to the fact that many students are working full-time jobs, or at least part-time, while they’re enrolled within the program. They then come in after their other job and weld for a few hours straight. Even though this sounds daunting, Tipps expressed that this challenge is what prepares you for future life experiences, as you’re continually developing a solid work ethic simultaneous to the education and practical experience.

This challenge develops hard-working and well-rounded students, leading to one’s ability to obtain entry into the workforce, as well as opportunities for growth and advancement within the industry. According to the American Welding Society, there will be a shortage of 400,000 welders by the year 2025. Therefore, an abundance of current opportunities and a coming need for more skilled workers within the welding industry is evident.

Chase has taken advantage of these various opportunities available for highly trained welders, while also combining his welding skills with his own creative and artistic endeavors. This fact was evident from the early stages of his career, as he entered Skills USA 2011 as an abstract artist, welding an abstract piece for the competition.

Since graduating from STC, he has worked in Charlotte, NC, designing and welding custom pieces for restaurants, and now he works with Advanced Fabrication in Lyons, GA (, one of the premier welding companies in the area, located only a few miles from STC’s Vidalia Campus.

Tipps works as a project manager, designer, and welder for Advanced Fabrication. He still works a lot with restaurants, as he was the primary concept designer and project manager over Hardware Pizza, a relatively new and popular restaurant in downtown Lyons, GA. Tipps also recently designed the whole space for Vidalia’s Flour & Sugar, a much-loved bakery that has now reopened under new management.

While contemplating his time in STC’s Welding program, Tipps noted that he views “STC as a springboard for my artistic development.” He went on to say that the program offers a very safe learning environment, where one can “focus on advancing their skills and competency in the craft.” 

He said that he owes a lot to Michael Crumpler, who instructed him throughout the diploma program, as well as Vance Knight, his boss and mentor at Advanced Fabrication. Mr. Crumpler and Mr. Knight serve on an advisory committee together. Tipps stated, “I’m so thankful for them. I view them as elders… They’ve helped me skip some hard knocks and I’ve grown a lot professionally because of them.”

Tipps’ plans for the future include the goal of, “having my own shop, where I want to employ others into a creative environment, doing build-outs for bars and restaurants.”

Southeastern Technical College’s Welding & Joining Technology diploma program is set-up to prepare students for innovative and successful careers like Chase’s. The program is now accepting new students into the program every semester. In other words, new students are now being accepted for the Fall, Spring, and Summer start dates.

For more information about STC’s Welding & Joining Technology program, visit, or call (912)-538-3100 (Vidalia) or (478)-289-2200 (Swainsboro).

Chase Tipps

Chase was the primary concept designer and project manager over Hardware Pizza.