Cochise College received top honors at the SkillsUSA Arizona state welding competition held at the UA Local 469 Plumbers, Pipefitters and HVAC Facility in Phoenix. Cory Adams took home the gold medal on his second trip to the state competition.
Over 40 welding students from high schools and colleges across Arizona competed in the welding contest, and their skills were tested in the following areas: Gas Metal Arc Welding, Gas Tungsten Arc Welding, Shielded Metal Arc Welding, and Oxy-Fuel Cutting. Students were also tested in academic areas. The contest has been designed to test the welder’s abilities in each of these areas to select the best “all around” student welder to represent the state of Arizona at the National SkillsUSA Championships in Louisville, Kentucky on June 21 -29. Each state sends only one student to compete at the National contest. Cochise College is very proud to have Corey Adams represent the college, Cochise County, and Arizona.
Raised in Sierra Vista, Adams graduated from Buena High School. He attended Central Arizona College and received a certificate in diesel/heavy equipment technology. “After working in the industry for two years, I discovered that having welding skills makes me a more versatile mechanic and welder. Since taking classes at Cochise, my passion for welding has grown. Now, I am looking to becoming a pipe welder,” Adams said.
Scott Brown, the college’s Technology Department Chair has been training students for competitions for over 20 years. “The students preparing for the state competition train very hard. In addition to their class time in the welding lab, they spend many hours in the welding lab practicing to perfect their skills. If a student wants to participate in the state competition, each student must earn their spot to represent Cochise College by first competing against the other students who want to join the state competition,” Brown said.
When the semester ends, training for the nationals will begin. Adams will spend 20 hours a week in a makeshift training area to simulate what he will be up against at Nationals. This will prepare him for the competitive environment at the national contest and allow him to become comfortable in the new setting.
Adams will graduate in May earning an Associate of Applied Science degree in Welding Technology, a certificate in General Welding Technology and Industry Welding certifications. He plans to work with a pipe fitter’s union in a booming state where he will have the opportunity to earn some of the highest wages in the country.