Special to The Hays Daily News

This summer, students from the NCK Tech Beloit campus welding program participated in the National Skills USA championship at Kansas City, Mo. The group returned to Beloit with two national awards.

Curtiss Anderson, Burr Oak, placed first for welding, and the welding fabrication team of Jacob Arnold, Bennington, Joel Hayes, Douglas, and Joe Pfeifer, Hays, placed second in the nation.

This national success is a direct result of the support business and industry provides to the NCK Tech welding program. The support includes the donation of metal and welding consumables for daily use for welding techniques on pipe and plate, service to the program's advisory committee and assistance with statewide welding competitions.

The advisory committee members, who are employees and owners of regional businesses -- including Ag-Co/Sunflower, CAT, Winkel Manufacturing, Landoll, Kohler Manufacturing and Bohnert welding -- offer advice on the latest welding technology and skills needed for employment in the industry.

The welding competitions feature a variety of welding disciplines, including shielded metal arc, gas metal arc and gas tungsten arc. In addition, industry partners have provided the matching funds required for grant opportunities in cutting-edge welding technology, such as robotic welding and CNC (computer numerical control) equipment. The funding is a critical component of technical education and is a key factor in maintaining a high quality, industry recognized training program.

NCK Tech would like to thank the following supporters of technical education and the welding program: AGCO/Sunflower, Airgas, Alstom Power, Bohnert Welding, Caterpillar, Crop Production Services, ESAB Electric, Globe Engineering, Great Plains Manufacturing, Hess Services, Jayhawk Pipeline, JP Pipeline, Kansas Gas, Kohler Manufacturing, Landoll, Lincoln Electric, Matheson Tri-Gas, Miller Electric, NCRA, Reinke Manufacturing, Salina Steel, Southern Star Central Gas, Vortex, Webber Gross Welding and Repair, Williams Natural Gas and Winkel Manufacturing.