For the third year in a row, Franklin County Technical School Welding and Metal Fabrication program students have won prestigious awards from a national organization for their excellence in designing, documenting and constructing welding projects.
David Weed, 18, of Warwick won the James F. Lincoln Arc Welding Foundation’s Regional Gold Award in the 2014 Division I Student Arc Welding Program. As such, Weed received a Lincoln 140 MIG Welder worth $700-$800, as well as $500 in cash.
Gabe Mazeski, 18, of Turners Falls, won the Lincoln Arc Welding Foundation’s Regional Silver Award, and received $250.
Weed is the son of Todd Weed, FCTS Electrical program teacher, and Mazeski is the son of Joe Mazeski, the school’s director of Building and Grounds.
Weed built a water cooler for an Airco Pulse Arc 500 that converts a previously air-cool welding machine and gun to water-cooled. This extends welding component life and allows for continual welding without stopping for a cool down cycle.
Weed said he was happy to learn he had won the award, and credited his teacher David Morgan with helping to guide him through the process.
“It’s nice to get a welder and the cash is nice too,” Weed said. “Doing the project was difficult. Without Mr. Morgan’s help it really would have been hard. This is a great program with excellent teachers.”
Mazeski made a water sediment table for a CNC plasma cutter. The table catches excess smoke and sediment from the cutting machine while it’s in use. He said he was surprised to hear he won the award.
“It felt great to win this award,” Mazeski said. “I came home from work one day and I had a letter from Lincoln Arc Welding saying that I won.”
The two award winners graduated from FCTS in June. Weed works for Judd Wire in Turners Falls, and Mazeski is a student at the Advanced Welding Institute in Burlington, Mass.
The James F. Lincoln Arc Welding Foundation, based in Cleveland, Ohio, was created in 1936. It is the only organization in the United States solely dedicated to educating the public about the art and science of arc welding. The Foundation is now in its seventh decade of publishing educational texts and granting cash awards to recognize technical achievements.
Franklin County Technical School routinely wins James F. Lincoln Arc Welding Foundation regional awards. Last year, Gabriel Stafford won the Regional Gold Award, while two years ago, Connor Roberge won a Silver Award, while James Thayer, Cody Stevens, and Dalton Harris took all three Bronze Awards.
“We’ve had quite a few winners of this contest over the years,” Morgan said. “We’ve been pretty competitive.”
Morgan said the students not only have to build their projects, but also document every step, including job specifications, drawings, photographs, tool lists, weld parameters, and more.
“It’s a pretty comprehensive package when they put it together,” he said. “The real plus of winning is that this is a very prestigious, recognized industry award. It’s industry-based and is evaluated by people in the industry. The real value is when you can list this award on a resume when the student goes into the job market.”