BAXTER SPRINGS - Kenyon Clark and Austin Wolken, Riverton High School students, attend classes at the Baxter Springs welding site offered by Coffeyville Community College, Columbus Tech Campus. Kenyon and Austin are the first two students attending the new program to earn a 6G pipe welding certification. Students from the program are tested by an AWS certified welding inspector. Students’ welds must meet the acceptance criteria of Section IX of the Boiler Pressure Vessel Code in order to certify.

"It was exciting and rewarding as an instructor to see Kenyon and Austin progress to the point to where their skill level advanced to where they could pass the pipe certification," Gale Hess, Baxter site welding instructor said.

High school juniors and seniors from Baxter Springs, Galena and Riverton high schools attend the welding program in Baxter Springs, overseen by the Columbus Technical Campus of Coffeyville Community College. Students have the opportunity to enroll in dual credit classes, earning both high school and college credit. Tuition is free to high schools students through Senate Bill 155. Students receive training in four different welding processes: (SMAW) Shield Metal Arc Welding, (GMAW) Gas Metal Arc Welding, (FCAW) Flux Cored Arc Welding and (GTAW) Gas Tungsten Arc Welding and earn their OSHA 10 outreach training card.

"At CCC students are taught to weld in industry," Madl said. "Meeting the criteria of the AWS structural welding codes and the ASME power and process pipe welding codes is what these kids must learn to do to pass our classes. I think our programs are a great opportunity for area students to take advantage of!"

Kenyon and Austin traveled to the CCC Columbus Technical Campus Welding facility to take the first of four welding bend tests, successfully passing their SMAW Certification. Todd Madl, Columbus Technical Campus Welding Instructor, and Certified Welding Inspector, administered the testing and verified the bend test.

"The test was hard," Kenyon said. "You can’t go in unprepared. You can’t slack off at all and you have to concentrate. You can’t mess around."

This is Kenyon’s first time to weld on pipe. He will continue his training to earn the three additional welding certifications upon graduation from high school.

"Don’t give up," Austin said. "Try your best with every pipe and concentrate."

This is also Austin’s first attempt at welding pipe.

For information on the Welding program or program training available in Automotive,

Business and Computer, Collision or Construction at the Columbus Campus of Coffeyville Community College, call 620-429- 3896 or visit our website at