ROSEBURG, Oregon – Kelden Davis grew up in Glide, Oregon. He describes himself as being big on adventuring outdoors. He enjoys his time in the woods, the coast, and anywhere outside.
Some people find out early in life what they are cut out for. It has its advantages. For one, you can start to concentrate on that one thing that you really want to do sooner rather than later. The outcome is that you can become highly skilled.
Davis looked at his options. He said, “I knew I wanted to be in a trade. After a couple of years in high school welding, I knew it was right for me.”
Davis ended up enrolling in the UCC GED program at the age of 16. “In the process of getting my GED, the instructors and staff were very supportive. Being a part of UCC [through the GED program] made it easier for me to get started in college.”
Of course, there are many welding programs. Davis related why he chose UCC, “I have multiple friends who also weld and some of them took the course at UCC. Seeing their success going through the program further drove me to pursuing the career [here].”
Instructors can make a difference in the success of their students. UCC’s welding instructors are well known for teaching excellence. Davis concurred, “Ian and Duane are awesome instructors and really helpful. They’re both easy going and make the program a very welcoming learning experience. They certainly have their own methods of teaching, but they’re both thorough and make points clear to their students.”
Throughout the Welding program there are many exceptional hands-on projects that challenge students and help them learn welding processes and gain proficiency. Davis relates his experience, “There is quite a mix of projects throughout the first year, including many processes of welding, positions, different cutting methods, and even drafting our own drawings. There’s many interesting projects that drew me further into my love for welding, but there were some that stood out and really attracted my attention.”
“One of the standout projects was in my aluminum-only class. We made a sort of “washboard” shaped [object] with strips of aluminum. When it came to welding it up there was a healthy mix of GTAW and GMAW that made it very engaging. Having to move from one machine to the other ensured that we knew how to not only weld with that process, but also how to set the machine up. Overall, I really enjoyed that project.”
The employment prospects for UCC welding students after graduation are excellent. According to the American Welding Society 375,000 new welders will be needed to satisfy the demands of several industries by 2023. Davis already has some employment prospects.
“There’s lots of options inside and outside the [Roseburg] area. One field of welding that is intriguing to me is welding aluminum boats, and as many know, there is a plethora of boat manufacturers in the area. I’ve been talking to North River Boats, and I hope that things go well there.”
Davis has been on the UCC honor roll twice during the 2020-21 school year and his path continues. As a second-year Welding student this fall, he will be able to take advantage of the newly-renovated Welding shop. It was remodeled over the summer. Plus, he is on track to graduate in June 2022. Lookout for updates with more perspective from Davis and his progress beyond graduation!
About Umpqua Community College
Nestled in the beautiful North Umpqua River Valley, Umpqua Community College is the regional center for higher education in Douglas County, Oregon. UCC provides high quality college degree programs, workforce development, and community learning opportunities.
Ian Fisher – Contact
Coordinator, Associate Professor, Welding