Instructor strives to help with national welder shortage
to figures released by the American Welding Society (AWS), the
country is now enduring a welder shortage that will intensify for
years to come. In order to help meet that demand, Halifax Community
College Welding Department Head/Instructor Jason Shotwell is focused
on filling some of those vacancies with skilled, certified welders.
Shotwell is an alum of HCC. He earned a GED from HCC and then a
diploma in the Industrial Maintenance program where he was first
introduced to the art of welding. He went on to earn a diploma in
welding and to become a certified welder through the college.
Afterwards, Shotwell worked at Davis Certified Welding and Ceco
Building Systems. He then earned as associate’s degree from Nash
Community College and later became employed at HCC where he has been
for four years.
While at HCC, Shotwell has become a certified welding inspector and
welding educator through the AWS, which was made possible through a
Perkins Grant. He has also had the opportunity to go to welding
schools at Lincoln Electric in Georgia and Hobart Institute of
Technology in Ohio. “I enjoy teaching and certifying students and
seeing how my graduates are doing in the workforce,” he says.
“My dream is to
make a difference in some child’s life, and some day it will become
student Carol Whitaker really wants to make a difference. The
Associate in Arts (Teacher Prep) student plans to transfer to
Elizabeth City State University after graduation in 2009 to become a
teacher—ultimately for first graders.
The Enfield native and Southeast Halifax High School graduate chose
to attend HCC because it was close to home. “I always wanted to be a
teacher so I thought I should get started close to home.” She would
like to be able to stay in Halifax County and teach in one of the
While at HCC, Whitaker has been a work study student in Student
Services and has helped as a volunteer for various events. She is a
scholarship recipient, an Ambassador, and a member of Phi Theta
Kappa honor society where she serves as its induction officer for
the 2008-09 school year and maintains a 3.82 GPA. She is also a
mentor, an usher board member, secretary of the Awana Youth program
and a Vacation Bible School teacher at her church.
After graduating from high school, Whitaker went to work at Tyco
Plastics, not realizing it was a dead end job. “After 17 years, I
realized that I no longer wanted a job, I wanted a career. The only
thing I regret is not going to college sooner.”