Three STC Welding Winners in AWS Competition

October 3, 2022

 On September 29, the Atlanta Section of the American Welding Society (AWS) held a welding competition on the Swainsboro Campus of Southeastern Technical College (STC).

The competition consisted of students using their blueprint reading skills to fabricate a weldment and produce the correct size welds using various welding processes of gas metal arc welding (MIG) and gas tungsten arc welding (TIG) in different positions – horizontal, vertical, and overhead.

Area schools were invited to participate. Southeastern Technical College students who competed were: Jack Williams from Swainsboro, Kade Johnson from Millen, and Dawson Claxton from Lyons.

Dawson, a Vidalia campus student, won first place and a $1,000 scholarship. Jack, a Swainsboro campus student, won second place and a Jackson auto-darkening welding hood. Kade, a Swainsboro campus student, won third place and a DeWalt 4 ½ inch angle grinder.

Discussing the full morning of events, Claxton said, “It’s very humbling – a full test of our skills. The AWS reps will have a lot of pointers to give us in our individual critique sections after lunch.” Claxton was working with the boilermaker’s union when he decided to attend STC to obtain his welding credentials.

Williams is a homeschooled student who toured Southeastern Technical College when he was in the sixth grade and said he knew at that time that he wanted to try welding. He’s a sixth-generation welder with plans to work on the pipeline in Texas after graduation.

Coming from several generations of welders, Johnson said, “It’s a learning experience and it’s hard. It looks easy on paper.” He plans to continue his education in building construction.

All three students will complete the requirements for their Welding and Joining Technology diplomas during the next couple of semesters. Two of the three have participated in Dual Enrollment at STC for a portion of their credits.

Each student was also awarded a complimentary student membership into the American Welding Society from the Atlanta Section.

Rene Engeron and Robert Trudelle from the Atlanta Section sponsored the competition. Certified welding inspectors Robert Trudelle and Joe Waldroup judged the competition.

These students are under the instruction of Jason McDonald on the Swainsboro campus and Michael Crumpler on the Vidalia Campus.

“We are grateful to the AWS and the Atlanta Section for choosing us to host the competition,” stated McDonald.

“These young men are all winners today and they leave with valuable information and experience as a result of this competition,” stated Crumpler.

A pizza lunch was provided for all in attendance, courtesy of the Atlanta Section.

Information about future welding competitions and scholarships can be found at One other scholarship will be awarded by the Atlanta Section for the northern region of Georgia, later this year.

For more information about upcoming welding courses, contact Jason McDonald at (478) 289-2242 or Michael Crumpler at (912) 538-3257 or visit

Photo (L to R): Jack Williams, Rene Engeron, Sonya Wilson, Kade Johnson, Jason McDonald, Robert Trudelle, Michael Crumpler, Dawson Claxton