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Welding Competition Sparks Interest

On Friday, April 28, 2023, Cleveland Community College held its second annual welding competition.

The competition featured the top four welders from Burns, Crest, Kings Mountain and Shelby high schools. This year’s group of competitors included four female students and one hearing-impaired student. Competitors were given specifications to perform specific types of welds and had 2-1/2 hours to complete the challenge.

Judges Curtis Rippy from Maco, Inc. and Corey Dubesko from IMA examined each competitor’s welds. Using a set of criteria based on industry standards, they selected the top welder from each school and the top three overall winners.

The Winners

The overall winners were: first-place Jackson Pence, second-place Madison Lemmons and third-place MacKenzie Canipe.

First and second place each received a prize pack with a large tool bag, welding helmet and welding gloves; the third-place winner received a helmet and gloves. These prizes and lunch were provided by the event sponsor AndyOxy. In addition to the prize pack, the first-place winner was presented with a hand-crafted belt buckle made by CCC instructor Michael Beatty.

The top competitors from each school were: Burns- MacKenzie Canipe, Crest- Jackson Pence, Kings Mountain- Adam Harrelson, and Shelby- Jaydan Tate. They received a $750 scholarship to attend CCC’s welding program.

The scholarship for the top Crest winner was provided by the Michael David Scott Parsons Endowed Scholarship fund. Established by Parsons’ family and friends in his memory, the scholarship is awarded annually to a student enrolled in any vocational diploma program, with preference given to students in the welding program and students demonstrating financial need.

The scholarship for Shelby’s top finisher was provided by The Gabe DiBruno Memorial Welding Scholarship. This endowed scholarship was established in memory of Gabe DiBruno, who was the top finisher from Shelby High School in last year’s competition. This scholarship is awarded annually to a Shelby High School welding student.

All sixteen competitors received a welding helmet provided by Cleveland County Schools.

The 16 competitors in the welding competition.

Competitors from each high school

Burns: MacKenzie Canipe, Audrianna Clemmer, Drake Freeman, Bo Westbrook
Crest: Dillon Kirby, Madison Lemmons, Jackson Pence, Drew Theis
Kings Mountain: Canyon Evans, Justice Fussell, Adam Harrelson, Brianna Harrelson
Shelby: Justin Franklin, Tucker Ive, Dan Martinez, Jaydan Tate