Christopher Busch, the Adult Education Welding Instructor at the Mount Joy campus of the Lancaster County Career & Technology Center is a bit of a Welder/Philosopher.
“I don’t see a day when welding is a technology of the past. Welding will always be a revolving door of technology and will always be part of the technology innovations into the future. I think Welding in a whole is an endless possibility of opportunity,” Busch proclaimed following a class tour to the Lancaster division of High Steel Structures, LLC. High Steel manufactures structural steel for a variety of industrial uses throughout the country.
Busch’s Adult Education Welding class elected to tour High Steel because it is an industry leader and a valued partner in its support of the Lancaster County CTC. As Busch says, “We like to tour industrial companies who have donated time and equipment to our facility as well as who hire our graduates.” He continued, saying the High Steel companies have a good number of CTC graduates, and currently having one of their employees in the CTC’s full-year welding program.
One aspect of the tour that impacted the students was how close the skills they are learning mirror the skills needed at the larger scale in real world industry. Instructor Busch says that learning on the smaller scaled equipment directly relates to the work done in the High Steel shops. He said that the CTC cannot match the scale of the work done at High Steel but when we scale down and pay attention to the quantity of times a skill is practiced and to the quality of the work.
“Practice makes perfect. It all relates in the end, just the size of the job changes,” Busch said. Busch continued saying that welding has changed modern civilization. It started with a forge and a hammer a thousand years ago and now welding is part of everyday life. We build power plants, ships, cars, trucks, trailers, skyscrapers, bridges, cranes, construction equipment, sanitary food systems, sewage removal and so much more. The world relies on welders and tours like this that show students that we drive over, sleep in, drink from, and live off of the craftsmanship of a welder is essential.
Busch’s pride in his class and his students is apparent and he hopes that touring industrial businesses like this hits home for them. “I hope my students come away with a sense of accomplishment and also the amazement factor. Most of my students have never been exposed to welding and the challenges it faces but walk away with a sense of pride when they realize how far they can go in life once they learn a trade,” he said.