HELENA - The Helena High School welding program has been awarded a $1,000 grant from the Montana Contractors Association to help fund their program. Cindy Galbavy, the welding instructor at HHS, says the money will be used to replace old table tops. She said some of the table tops they will be replacing are from the 1970’s.
They will be working with different contractors throughout the community to replace the table tops, so the students will also be getting experience working with actual contractors. Kyler Armstrong, a junior at HHS, has been in the welding program for three years, and says it's nice to work on new equipment.
“You get a wide range of what everything is like, so you know how to use multiple pieces of equipment,” said Armstrong.
This is the second year in a row the program has received the grant, and Galbavy says it's important to keep the students up to date with the new technology that is being produced in the welding industry.
“The need for welders is out there. They are wanting to help recruit these kids and show how these companies work and bring the contractors into the schools. It's just an awesome opportunity for both. We are just excited to be able to upgrade,” said Galbavy.
There are about 160 students in the welding program and about 65% of them go on to do something in the welding industry. The new table tops will come just in time for the start of the new school year.