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David Raveaux, welding instructional specialist and program director, said the students in his spring semester Layout & Fabrication class designed and fabricated cages to be used as a secured records storage system for CHANGE, Inc., a non-profit agency that serves northern West Virginia and Jefferson County in Ohio by providing various programs and services to those in financial need.
In the Layout & Fabrication class, Raveaux explained, “senior students have the opportunity to learn to develop and fabricate a work project from start to finish. The first step is to meet with a potential client and discuss needs and this year we met with CHANGE Inc. in Weirton.”
The instructional specialist cited the value of the exercise to the students because “the next step is to begin a planning and design process that will suit the needs discussed.” The class then “figures up a baseline cost of overhead, consumables and material needed to start the bidding process. After a design concept has been created, the students learn to use project management techniques to plan the project and estimate costs, order materials and develop a timeline for the project. They learn to present the customer with a completed invoice; they then complete the project they had planned.”
Raveaux said CHANGE had a project that needed completed and partnered with WVNCC to make it happen. “Working with local groups, businesses, educational institutions or other social services agencies to encourage partnerships is key for the success of our programs, such as the one with WVNCC,” Judy Raveaux, chief executive officer of CHANGE, Inc., said. She said her agency “encourages the integration of services, the building of partnerships and the consolidating of resources to empower families towards healthy, self-sufficient living.”
The Layout & Fabrication class students were enthusiastic about their involvement in the project. Joe Pickens said, “I love the welding program. It’s fun for me. The project we’re doing is good for the community and it’s good for the students because we get valuable experience. It’s good all around.”
Student Ian Minor said, “The project helps us get hands-on experience and will help us with jobs in the future.” Brad McGraw, another student, added, “I’m learning a lot and I like working on a project that’s like what we’ll be doing when we get jobs. It’s good experience.”
CHANGE, Inc. (Christians Helping Arrange New Growth Enterprises) was formed in 1983 by a handful of clergy members who wished to aid families affected by layoffs from Weirton Steel find new employment. Since that time, it has grown into a full-circle agency, addressing many of the needs of the communities served. With more than 30 years of operation, the belief of empowering families is still strong within the agency, it was noted.
More information about WVNCC’s welding classes is available by contacting David Raveaux by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 304-214-8851.