Caldwell High School’s welding shop got a free makeover, thanks to donations from local companies.
Welding students needed more workspace so teacher Ivak Cooper asked local companies to donate supplies and labor to expand the shop by 45 feet. The project would have cost about $70,000.
“From the ground up everything has been donated,” said Cooper, in his 15th year at Caldwell.
Cooper’s 80-100 students helped with the construction, giving them hands-on real world experience.
“I will get to do a lot more projects with the students with all the new space,” he said. “We will get to do different things instead of being stuck in one small area.”
David Rodriguez is less than two weeks away from graduating from Caldwell High School and is leaving as a certified welder. He’s been in the welding program since freshman year.
“I’m certified in stick and vertical welding,” Rodriguez said. “The welding classes really help you get prepared for the future.”
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David is looking into college and other certification programs, but says if he can find a welding job after graduation he will take that opportunity.
“I have learned a lot about welding because of the hands-on activities and the new shop addition is going to help future students,” he said. “Our teacher Mr. Cooper gets all the students involved and cares about us.”