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Welding Students Test Mettle At On-Site Event

TC Energy officials explain to PNG High School welding students the hazards they'll face as they enter the pipeline construction zone near campus during their on-site experience on Friday, Jan. 28. (Mike Tobias/PNGISD)

By Mike Tobias

The high school Welding I and II students received on-site, on-the-job experience thanks to TC Energy, the company working on the pipeline installation along New Street near campus.

At least two dozen of Mr. Tommy Gordon's students ventured out to the construction site  on Friday, Jan. 28 as the street between the band parking lot and the band/soccer practice fields was excavated and pipe lay exposed.

The students were able to see several operations at the site, such as ditching, relaying spoils and coating welds. They were able to get an up-close look into the construction aspects and real-world applications to the lessons they are learning in their welding class.

According to Jake Haney, project manager for TC Energy, the students were able to see the way the line is laid in the ditch and excavation safety measures that are all required to setup and make welds and construction of the line.

"It's very important to our industry to have skilled tradesmen and women that are passionate about their work and the younger generation will be the future of our industry," Haney said.

"We as a company welcome the opportunity to share our industry and the great things that we accomplish every day and promote the work."

Temperatures wavered near 40 degrees beneath gray skies as the students received an up-close view of the work. They were reminded by those on the job that no matter the conditions outside, the work on the job always continues.

"It's a good experience for all the college students that are trying to pursue the welding experience of a pipeline," Marc Ayala, senior, told PNG Primetime. "It was just a very interesting field trip for all of us."

WATCH: PNG Primetime's Story About Welding's Experience

The day proved to be a good opportunity for the high school media and journalism students. Members of NDN Press and PNG Primetime were invited out to help document and capture the experience. While they were there as observers, they were subjected to the same hazardous extremes as the welding students.  

"(It just shows) that there is more to the pipeline industry as far as opportunities in the field for high school students in roles such as communications or public relations individuals that are major team members in executing these types of projects."

Mike Tobias
409.729.7644 Ext. 148