Tallon Powell of Boaz arrives to work and spends his day tackling all the tasks associated with being an industrial maintenance technician at Master Extrusions & Color Masters LLC. Since working in the field since 2013, Powell uses his training to complete extensive machinery repairs, preventative maintenance on machines, machine assembly and installation and a host of other responsibilities, all while following safety codes set by his company as well as OSHA standards.
But even with his career experience in industrial systems, Powell wanted particular training to add to his skill set – welding.
“I know that welding is a skill that many employers value. I have always been interested in learning to weld. I considered going back to school for welding for several years, but I was looking for a college credit program close to home.”
Powell found what he was looking for within Snead State Community College’s Industrial Systems Technology Program. Within the program is a welding career track certificate program. He needed three courses to complete the program and be prepared for earning his professional certification as a welder.
“Pursuing the certificate is a personal goal and a career goal. When I saw that there was an Alabama Committee on Credentialing and Career Pathways scholarship for the Welding Career Track at Snead State, I knew I needed to hurry up and apply. I’m glad Snead is offering this track for such a high-demand skill,” he said.
Powell is enrolled in the evening classes offered at Snead State, but welding classes are offered both in the morning and in the afternoon/evening. Powell said he wasn’t sure the course schedule would work for him, but the course schedule was flexible enough for him to get the classes he needed while continuing to work full-time.
“I was very impressed by the instructor (Karter Krueger). He is approachable, relatable, and has a passion for his trade. The classes are not large, so I get a lot of one-on-one instruction and extra practice.”
Powell was already an alumnus of Snead State, having earned an Associate degree in General Education in 2017. He will complete the Welding Career Track this spring, something he believes will only increase his value as an employee.
“The demand for skilled welders has grown steadily in North Alabama. To respond to this business and industry need, Snead State implemented a short-term certificate in Welding Technology. The Welding certificate helps to address current industry needs and fill the skill gap. Marshall County has many talented individuals seeking skilled workforce trainings, and Snead State is fortunate to have Tallon as one of the first students in the welding certificate program. We at Snead State are excited to begin offering the full two-year degree in Welding Technology starting August 2022,” said Snead State Career and Education Director Dr. Greg Randall.
The Alabama Committee on Credentialing and Career Pathways scholarship is also available for upcoming summer and fall classes at Snead State. Scholarship applications are currently being accepted through 5 p.m. on Friday, April 16. For more information, visit www.snead.edu/scholarships.