McDONOUGH — A partnership between the Henry County Sheriff’s Office and Southern Crescent Technical College has resulted in the creation of a welding program for county inmates.

The 100-hour Welding Fundamentals Program is designed to provide valuable welding skills for individuals that will allow them to gain meaningful employment while creating highly skilled professionals for the welding industry, according to the HCSO.

“The HCSO provides certain rehabilitative and educational opportunities through coordinated community resources and programs to prepare inmates for productive citizenship upon return to their communities. We are beyond excited as we progress along, referencing our goals that we started in 2021,” said Sheriff Reginald Scandrett. “Particularly, with respect to recidivism, one of the areas that we were able to get up and running was the GED program, and now we’re introducing the welding program. Our overall objective is to implant knowledge into the inmates that are here so, when they leave, they’re able to get sustainable income and not return to a life of crime.”

The program includes safety, tool use, fundamentals of welding, plasma cutting, arc gouging and basic and advanced shielded metal arc welding. Upon successful completion of the program, students must take the American Welding Society Weld Test Certification within 10 days to become certified in Shielded Metal Arc Welding and receive a certificate of completion from SCTC.

Welding is one of the occupations included on the Governor’s High Demand Career Initiative Occupations List as skilled welders are difficult to find.

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By MD Abdullah

Abdullah is a former educator, lifelong money nerd, and a Plutus Award-winning freelance writer who specializes in the scientific research behind irrational money behaviors. Her background in education allows her to make complex financial topics relatable and easily understood by the layperson. She is the author of four books, including End Financial Stress Now and The Five Years Before You Retire.

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