Skilled to Work: Wallace State student wins gold in national welding competition

The medal was the first for Wallace State Community College since 2009.

Posted: Jul 4, 2019 12:54 PM
Updated: Jul 5, 2019 12:20 PM

Jacob Humphrey is used to working with several different types of metals. The Wallace State Community College student started welding when he was 14-years-old.

“My grandpa had an old Lincoln buzz box welder,” said Humphrey. “So I would go home and practice in the shop and he would help me fix some things around the farm.”

Jacob Humphrey competed against 42 other welders from around the country to win his gold medal. Jacob Humphrey competed against 42 other welders from around the country to win his gold medal.

On Friday, June 28, he added a new piece of metal to his arsenal: a gold medal from the SkillsUSA competition.

“[Y]ou get down to the final three and you don’t hear your name on third and you don’t hear your name on second and you really get nervous when you hear first. And it was my name, so I felt relieved after that,” said Humphrey.

More than 6500 students competed across more than a hundred different skills contests last week ranging from carpentry and machining to firefighting and nurse assisting.

Humphrey’s medal is the second gold for the Wallace State welding program and the first since 2009. Wallace State is also the only community college in Alabama that has ever won a gold in welding at SkillsUSA.

Welding instructor Jim Thompson gave credit to the passion of his students for the school’s successes.

“If we didn’t have students that were willing to work hard at it, we would probably not be sitting here at this point,” said Thompson.

“It puts the program on a different level nationally because of that. Because, again, it’s a very tough competition.”

One of the unique ways Wallace State teaches its welding students is with a its VRTEX virtual reality arc welding trainer. It allows them to practice on a dummy t-joint to improve their technique until they are ready to work on real metal.

Thompson hopes kids will look at students like Humphrey and get inspired to take the first steps into joining the skilled trades.

“These kids, when they come out, they’re craftsmen. They are craftsmen. So we have to think about we need craftsmen in our world to keep this world turning,” said Thompson.

And now that Humphrey’s competition days are behind him, he’s looking forward to becoming a full member of that world.

“I do some part-time work now. I plan on either traveling or staying around close to the Huntsville area, welding in aerospace or something similar,” said Humphrey.

To learn more about SkillsUSA, click here.

Huntsville
Few Clouds
71° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 71°
Florence
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 70°
Fayetteville
Clear
57° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 57°
Decatur
Clear
69° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 69°
Scottsboro
Overcast
68° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 68°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 18018

Reported Deaths: 644
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile2239116
Jefferson1837102
Montgomery171040
Tuscaloosa78315
Marshall6939
Franklin5567
Lee54833
Shelby51720
Tallapoosa42765
Butler41118
Chambers35525
Walker3542
Elmore3548
Madison3394
Baldwin2909
Morgan2801
Dallas2723
Etowah25711
DeKalb2483
Lowndes24612
Coffee2361
Sumter2247
Autauga2214
Houston2204
Bullock2095
Pike2030
Colbert1842
Hale1739
Russell1710
Marengo1706
Barbour1671
Lauderdale1642
Calhoun1603
Choctaw1538
Wilcox1487
Clarke1442
Cullman1430
Randolph1277
St. Clair1231
Marion12211
Pickens1164
Dale1150
Talladega1135
Limestone1060
Chilton1011
Greene944
Winston900
Macon824
Henry802
Covington801
Jackson782
Crenshaw753
Bibb751
Washington706
Escambia633
Blount621
Lawrence500
Geneva430
Conecuh411
Coosa401
Monroe402
Perry390
Cherokee373
Clay272
Lamar260
Fayette160
Cleburne151
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 22566

Reported Deaths: 364
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Davidson504062
Shelby4943111
Trousdale13924
Rutherford119623
Sumner88145
Hamilton79415
Bledsoe6071
Williamson55210
Putnam4795
Robertson4653
Tipton4423
Out of TN4184
Lake4140
Wilson4078
Knox3755
Bedford2834
Montgomery2693
Rhea2100
Hardeman1960
Madison1752
Loudon1430
McMinn14114
Macon1363
Cheatham1230
Bradley1221
Fayette1152
Cumberland1121
Dickson1090
Unassigned920
Blount913
Maury890
Sevier812
Washington750
Coffee730
Wayne640
Gibson631
Monroe622
Sullivan602
Hickman580
Lauderdale561
Franklin531
Greene502
Dyer500
Marion401
Anderson401
DeKalb370
Hamblen362
Smith341
White330
Hawkins332
Lawrence310
Grundy311
Haywood312
Marshall311
Obion301
Henry300
Jefferson280
Carroll271
Overton260
Meigs260
Weakley260
Lincoln250
Warren230
Cannon210
Perry210
Cocke200
Carter191
Campbell181
Morgan170
Jackson170
Crockett162
Roane160
Polk160
Johnson160
Henderson150
Hardin152
Sequatchie150
Humphreys131
Fentress120
McNairy120
Chester120
Giles120
Scott120
Stewart110
Claiborne90
Houston80
Grainger80
Clay70
Benton71
Decatur50
Unicoi40
Union40
Van Buren40
Lewis30
Pickett30
Moore30
Hancock10

 

 

Community Events