Piggott FFA Wins NEARK Weld-A-Thon

Thursday, February 28, 2013
Piggott High School winners and event officials show-off the first place trophy. The group includes, from left: James Garner, Ozarc Gas Regional Manager; PHS students Austin Engle, Jacob Richardson and Mason Henry; PHS instructor Casey Simpson and Ken Beach, ASUN Instructor of Welding.(courtesy photo)

More than 40 students from 14 area high schools and vocational colleges converged on the Jonesboro campus of Arkansas State University-Newport Friday, Feb. 15 for the fourth-annual Northeast Arkansas Weldathon, hosted by ASUN and Ozarc Gas.

Over $30,000 in scholarships and prizes were awarded to the first, second and third place winners in the high school division, and to first and second place winners in the vocational colleges division.

First place in the high school division was awarded to Piggott High School, represented by students Jacob Richardson, Austin Engle and Mason Henry, and instructor Casey Simpson. In addition to a full tuition scholarship to Arkansas State University-Newport, each student received a gold medal, electronic welding hood and a complete welder pack. PHS was awarded the first-place trophy and a Miller 211 Autoset MIG welder.

"We were very pleased with the turnout and participation in this year's Weldathon," said James Garner, Regional Manager for Ozarc Gas. "We could not ask for a better facility and better partner to co-host this event with, and we look forward to doing it again next year. Part of the mission of the Weldathon is to enhance the image of welding as a professional career choice, and I certainly think that today's competition achieved that goal."

Platinum sponsors for the Weldathon were Arkansas State University-Newport, Ozarc Gas and Equimpment, American Railcar Industries, Nucor Hickman Steel, Nucor Yamato Steel, The Workforce Training Consortium, Ace Industrial Products, Victor Technologies and Lincoln Electric.

"We are extremely thankful to our platinum sponsors, Ozarc Gas and our students and staff at the ASUN-Jonesboro campus," said Ken Beach, Instructor of Welding at ASUN. "It takes a great deal of effort and time to make this event run smoothly, and without all of them, none of this would be possible."

Ozarc Gas Equipment and Supply, Inc. is the longest privately held independently owned and operated welding supply company in Missouri. Founded in 1945, Ozarc Gas distributes industrial, medical, specialty and welding gases, equipment and supplies from eight strategically located locations in Southeast Missouri, Northeast Arkansas and Western Kentucky.

Those wanting more information on Ozarc Gas may visit them online at www.ozarc.com.

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