First welding rodeo hopes to recruit more trade students

TCAT hosted the event to show young students that a career in skilled trade is possible.
Welding Rodeo at TCAT
Published: Nov. 18, 2022 at 8:10 PM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - High school and college students across East Tennessee competed in a welding rodeo on Friday at the Tennessee College of Applied Technology in Knoxville.

Zebulun Proctor, a welding instructor at the school, said the event exposes young students to a career in the skilled trade.

”So, the overall mission today is for TCAT to take a larger role in the high schools locally in East Tennessee. Not just Knox County, but the rural counties surrounding us and providing an opportunity for these young students to get out here and compete and be excited about CT education, more especially welding,” shared Proctor.

During the rodeo, several contests were going on in different welding categories, creating a little friendly competition.

The welding rodeo was a first for TCAT.

Proctor also said the industry is a good way for students to make a good living for themselves and their future families.

“So right now, I’ll tell you, for welding, we’re placing our students from anywhere between $18/hr to $41/hr. The median of what we’re seeing is students are getting placed between $20/hr and $25/hr. So we’re pretty happy with our placement. Local industry is very happy with the students that we’re providing them from TCAT to the field,” said Proctor.

Seven different high schools and three technical colleges participated in the rodeo.

At the end of it, nearly $10,000 worth of prizes were given away.

For anyone interested in welding, the staff at TCAT said they’re always looking for new students.

People can see more information and programs offered at the college on TCAT’s website.