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Timmins high schoolers can get certified before graduation

'It translates into better pay and more responsibility, which so many of these students are looking for,' says welding instructor
Dan Loranger got the ball rolling to certify his welding workshop with CWB so his students could have a leg up as they went out into the workforce.

Students at École secondaire catholique Thériault can now graduate a step ahead.

The school has started offering Canadian Welding Bureau (CBW) certification, which means students can go into a welding position, with their certification, right out of high school.

“It translates into better pay and more responsibility, which so many of these students are looking for,” said Dan Loranger, one of the welding instructors at the school.

Loranger is the person responsible for getting the CWB certification in place. The testing and the safety education that comes along with the course puts the students in a strong position, he said.

“I always tell them, forget everything you know about math in welding,” said Loranger with a laugh. “One plus one equals one when you’re putting two pieces of metal together, and when the kids see that in action, they get it.”

Loranger's own experience in architecture technology, working as a layout person and a welder, informed him of the importance of having this kind of program for these young people.

He started teaching in 2005 after working with co-op students.

“That kind of opened my mind to think that I’m pretty good at this and working with the kids,” said Loranger.

He did his teacher’s college courses during the summer after being offered the shop teacher position.

Receiving the CWB certification involved inspection of the welding lab at the school to make sure they had the CSA-approved consumables and proper ventilation.

The process took about three months. Now that the school is certified to test for CWB certification, students can have that in their pocket when they graduate.

“What’s really cool about this is these kids taking welding have the chance to challenge the test and get their card saying they’re a certified (welder),” said Loranger. “Up until that point, all the tests they do is just practice.”

The certification was funded by the Specialist High Skills Major program, which allows students to major in a specific field’s study during their high school career.

Students in Loranger’s class learn different skills that are applicable to real-world work being done, both in shops and in the field, and he also teaches them some design and theory as well.

“If you can’t get it down on paper, how can you put it together when you’re welding?” said Loranger.

— TimminsToday