FRANKLIN, Ky. – Franklin Simpson High School is preparing students for trade jobs by offering courses like welding. FSHS is one of the few schools in Kentucky that offer trade classes and allow for students to develop a skill at the high school level.
With students going to college and older generations leaving the field, welding instructor Jeremy Loveall says there has been an influx of jobs in the trade industry.
“All the baby boomers are retiring now you know every shop in town is hiring welders, they’re all hiring mechanics, and they’re hiring industrial maintenance technicians. Everyone is hiring and as days go on you know more people are retiring and there’s always a guaranteed a job,” Loveall said.
Loveall has around 40 seniors in his course every year, with around half furthering their education after graduation.
One of those students is senior Christopher Eitel, who was introduced to welding in Loveall’s course. Eitel will continue his education in the fall at Lincoln College of Technology in Nashville He is hoping to pursue a career working with heavy machinery. Working hands on, on various projects throughout the course, he is excited to continue following his passion.
“I like working with my hands and I felt that welding is something that you can do more like you can take something like just a standard piece of metal and make it into something.” says Eitel.
Senior, Chase Johnson will also be pursuing a trade career. Johnson, unlike Eitel, has been around tools and working with his hands since he was a child. Following in his uncle’s footsteps, he will begin taking courses in May to receive his certification in line work, as well as begin classes at Kentucky Community and Technical College System in the fall to obtain an electrician degree.
“I plan on being a journeyman lineman and having my career in line work and maybe do electrical work on the side if I have the opportunity” says Johnson.
Learning various trade skills at the high school level allows for students to be well equipped for the real world. “It’s something that you can take with you after high school. It’s not just something you’re doing while you’re in high school its more outside of high school you can take it to a job.” says Eitel.
The Franklin Simpson High School welding class has completed various projects such as a fork in the road and a space capsule. They are planning to unveil a new project at the end of the school year.