Opportunities Growing for Welders at Southeastern Tech
March 20, 2013 - The Welding and Joining Technology program at Southeastern Technical College is working to provide even more opportunities to its students after a visit from a representative of one of the top contractors in the United States.
Dr. Mittie Cannon, director of Workplace Development at Robins & Morton, met with school administrators and students on March 19 to discuss the school’s welding program.
In her meeting with students, Cannon—who once worked with STC Welding Instructor Michael Crumpler—spoke on a project in Millen that the Birmingham-based contractor is overseeing. Though this wasn’t strictly a recruiting visit for Cannon, she did lay the groundwork for a relationship between Robins & Morton and Southeastern Tech.
“I’ll be perfectly honest with you—you are the greatest asset that we have,” Cannon told students. “I know that it takes skillsets that come out of a program like this to power our industry.”
Cannon’s visit opens the door for students to work from Georgia to Nebraska and parts beyond for Robins & Morton, which has offices in Birmingham, Charlotte, Dallas, Huntsville, Nashville, Orlando and Raleigh and contracts work throughout the United States.
Earlier that day, Cannon met with STC officials about the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER), an education foundation that created a standardized training and credentialing program for the construction industry. NCCER qualification is recognized by businesses all over the country, including Robins & Morton, and creates a fast-track to employment for welding professionals.
“I don’t know any major contractor in the United States who’s not [looking for an NCCER card],” said Cannon.
Southeastern Tech has already begun inquiries into NCCER accreditation and hopes to provide one more avenue to employment for its welding students. Cannon herself has already contributed to this goal by sponsoring two STC students’ participation in the National Craft Championship.
Cannon, who previously coached the first-ever female welding winner in the championship, is covering all the costs to send welding students Demetris Lawson and Hosam Helmy to the event. Cannon views this as a not just part of her job, but fulfillment of her passion.
“I fight hard every day to change tomorrow,” Cannon told the students. “Because that’s the only way I’m going to make a difference. So, I tell you the same thing: don’t give up, fight for what it is you want, and work hard to change tomorrow.”
For more information on Southeastern Tech’s welding program, visit www.southeasterntech.edu or call 912-538-3100 or 478-289-2200.