Friday, October 19 , 2018, 5:39 pm | Fair 85º

 
 
 
 

Central Coast Boy Scouts Earn Welding Merit Badges With Help From Hancock College

Industry volunteers and Allan Hancock College students helped 10 area Boy Scouts earn welding merit badges. Each Boy Scout partnered with an industry volunteer and underwent safety tests before entering the college’s welding lab.
Industry volunteers and Allan Hancock College students helped 10 area Boy Scouts earn welding merit badges. Each Boy Scout partnered with an industry volunteer and underwent safety tests before entering the college’s welding lab.  (Allan Hancock College photo)

Ten Central Coast Boy Scouts earned welding merit badges thanks to the assistance of Allan Hancock College faculty, staff and students.

The Boy Scouts were part of the Los Padres Council, which serves the youth of San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties. Nearly 20 members of the local welding industry, as well as several Hancock welding students, volunteered.

“It was a great experience,” said Hancock welding instructor Gabriel Marquez. “The Boy Scouts were focused, and the industry showed tremendous support, which really helps to educate people about what they do. Hopefully, the event made some of the boys interested in welding careers.”

Marquez participated in the merit badge counselor training to ensure a full understanding of the merit badge requirements. The American Welding Society provided input a few years ago when the Boy Scouts of America designed the welding merit badge.

In order to receive the merit badge, the Boy Scouts attended three workshops, all held on Saturdays.

First, the boys learned about the hazards of welding and safety precautions, cutting methods and different careers available in the industry.

All scouts passed a written safety test before entering the welding lab and using the equipment, where each scout was paired with one mentor from the welding industry, who taught them about metal inert gas (MIG) welding. Scouts then went to work on an individual name plate project.

“I was very impressed by the welding facility at Hancock,” said Leroy Cadena, Boy Scout troop leader. “We are grateful for the welders willing to help our youth, and I was especially impressed to see some female welders involved with the Hancock program.”

The three-day workshop ended last Saturday, March 19, when Don Lahr gave scouts a tour of his company, Lahr Industrial Welding. Marquez says the college plans to make the event an annual tradition.

For more information on Allan Hancock College and the welding program, visit www.hancockcollege.edu.

The college offers an associate degree and certificate of achievement in welding technology. Students can also earn certificates of achievement of welding technology in metal fabrication and pipe welding. 

Gina Herlihy is a public affairs and publications technician at Allan Hancock College.

 

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