HS student gets hands-on welding experience

WHITE CITY, Ore. — A senior at Eagle Point High School is getting hands on experience, while still getting school credit.

“It’s like your own world when you put your helmet down,” Gavin said.

After taking a metals class his sophomore year, Gavin Frazier said he found his passion: welding. Now, he is getting school credit while working part time at Pro Weld in White City.

“I don’t really like sitting down in class, and just like, listening to a teacher,” Gavin said.

Instead, Gavin decided to get hands-on experience in the field. When Pro Weld owners James and Penny Oberlander were put in contact with the teen, they saw a certain spark.

“It’s been great to watch him grow and at his age he’ll, if he continues, he’ll be one of those Prima Donnas when he’s like 40 probably,” Penny said.

He’s been working at Pro Weld part time since July. After Gavin’s done with class, he heads over to the shop to learn from the pros.

“He’s learning the whole gamut. How to rig, how to take these overhead cranes and turn stuff over and how to do structural welding,” James said.

“When your hood goes down, all your focus on is where you’re welding and it’s like whatever is going on behind you, it really doesn’t matter,” Gavin said.

Some of his the projects he has worked on can already be seen around town, from bike racks to a bridge being built in Ashland.

“Actually having to get the tools out and actually have to lift the beam and be literally there, the hands-on experience, then you really get the this is how it’s really done cause they actually did do it,” James said.

The Oberlanders told me there’s a lack of tradesmen in the work force. Getting students interested in welding early, ensures there will be great welders to come. They say there instincts were right, this teen is different.

“It doesn’t matter if it’s in metric, if it’s in a different language, he can just by sight look at it and get it started and adjusted and that’s, that’s a pretty good statement,” James said.

After he graduates high school, Gavin wants to make this his career. His dream?  To become an iron worker.

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Anna Weeks
Anna Weeks is the anchor of NBC5 News at 5 and 11 and Your Place @7 with Anna Weeks. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Oregon State University with a degree in Digital Communication Arts and a minor in writing. Previously, she interned with the National Association of Broadcasters at the NAB Show in Las Vegas. Originally from the Portland area, Anna loves exploring Southern Oregon. In her free time, she enjoys reading, running, and watching sports.
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