Port Colborne High School student Joel Snider brought home the bronze medal from the Skills Canada National Competition.
Last week, Snider, 16, and his manufacturing teacher Vic Barker, attended the week long competition in Winnipeg, Man. Snider went up against 10 other high school students from across the country in the welding skills competition.
Competitors were given blueprints and told to create a rocket ship and a grain elevator within six hours.
When being reviewed during the competition judges consider a number of factors. Snider said for welding he was judged on accuracy and consistency. Competitors are also judged on how well they interpret the blueprints they’re given.
The National competition is the last of a series of skills tests. Barker said initially he picked a couple students to participate in the Niagara District School Board’s skills test. Being the winner of that round, Snider moved on to the Southern Ontario competition, then the Ontario competition.
In order to prepare for the national level, Snider said he stayed after school every day to practice his skills. He said he also practiced at school on weekends.
“I practiced building the boxes I’d have to build during the competition and I also practiced on scrap material,” Snider said.
As for his teacher, Snider said Barker is a “really good teacher.”
“We’ve sent six students to nationals in the past seven years,” Snider said.
Three of those students were winners, said Barker, who has worked at the school for 14 years.
Barker said welding is a growing industry with many options for apprenticeships.
“There are a lot of people retiring ... So there are going to be a lot of opportunities.”
Winning bronze at the national level will set Snider up for the future, Barker said.
Snider said winning bronze feels pretty good and that it’s a great accomplishment. When Snider graduates high school he plans on becoming a welder. He said he’s not sure what his dream job is, but he’s interested in pipe welding in the oil industry.
Joel also received a $1000.00 award for being one of the top ten high school welders in Canada. Congratulations Joel Port high is very proud of you.