POINT PLEASANT — The Mason County Career Center’s welding class recently spearheaded a project for the Mason County Sheriff’s Department.
The project started when Sgt. Curtis Rhodes, Point Pleasant Junior/Senior High School PRO officer, asked Brent Hereford, welding instructor, if the project — a tourniquet device that is placed behind the gun holsters — was one his class could do.
Hereford appointed Garrett Carte, senior, to head the project.
“I’m really the only one that really messes with the plasma cutter, so he asked me to do it,” Carte said. “We made a couple of designs… did more designs and fixed it the way we wanted it.”
Hereford said the engineering class helped with the design element of the project.
“He worked with the engineering program and they came up with a good design that was functional and aesthetically pleasing,” Hereford said.
The project came with a learning curve as the students worked through difficulties. Carte said the original “pump-like” brackets the group made, ended up being for a different holster. After fixing the bracket issue, the tourniquet was shown to Rhodes to ensure it was something he liked.
While Carte led the project, he had help from classmates with sanding, grinding and getting the project done prior to Christmas break.
The project was completed with a couple of different machines.
“[I used] the CNC [Computer Numerical Control] plasma cutter and then I bent them all on the bender,” Carte said. “It took me, once I started actually making them, like three days to make all 30 of them.”
Carte said this project was not much different then his normal work in class.
“Honestly, it really wasn’t even that different because I’m all the time doing stuff for Hereford for other people,” Carte said. “So, whenever he gave me this, I just did it.”
While the tourniquet project is a unique in itself, Carte’s leadership on the project has a unique story, as he originally had no interest in the class until Hereford.
“I came into the program, I didn’t want to do it at all,” Carte said. “I wanted to be a heavy equipment operator. Hereford is just such a great teacher.”
“He was one of the students that was a little bit undecided about what he wanted to do as a career,” Hereford said. “He wanted to be an operator, he didn’t want to do [this]. And now, he’s got in his head that there’s opportunities in CNC and different things, like TIG welding and precision type work, that he seems like he’s a little more interested in that stuff now.”
Between different areas involving welding and the family business, Carte now has options after graduation.
Hereford said there is an abundance of opportunity for young people, like Carte, starting at the Career Center.
“Right now, there’s so many opportunities with the Career Center for young people Ninth, tenth grade, they have the opportunity to go into several different careers and they can get their education right here,” Hereford said. “A lot of them could come right out of high school and make a really good living.”
Hereford said they “strive for certification.”
“That’s our main goal, is get certifications and we know that’s what’s going to give the kid’s careers,” Hereford said. “But along the way, we do get in a lot of project based learning activities. They get to participate in things like operating the CNC and working with stimulated workplace.”
The welding class is getting ready to start another project.
“We get to help out the community, we’re getting ready to start a big project with a local organization,” Hereford said. “They [students] get a bunch of hands-on different fabrication skills and you get to use all the different tools you would encounter in the industry.”
The Mason County Career Center recently hosted tours for all three high schools in the county.
Hereford said students are currently submitting applications for programs. He said those that may have missed tours can still submit an application.
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Brittany Hively is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Follow her on Twitter @britthively; reach her at (740) 446-2342 ext 2555.