Great Falls College MSU hosts welding competition

In honor of February being National Career and Technical Education Month, Great Falls College MSU will host a welding competition on Wednesday, Feb. 22.

The welding competition is for high school students who are enrolled in welding or other trades programs at their high school.

 “Hopefully it piques some students’ interest in pursuing a trades education,” said Monte Cobb, GFC MSU welding instructor and event coordinator.

During the competition, students perform three different types of welding – shielded metal arc welding, gas metal arc welding and gas tungsten arc welding. They also do oxy fuel cutting and must pass a written test. Each student receives pieces of metal and rotates through different stations to perform each type of welding and cutting. After they finish, judges review their final product and give them a score.

 “It’s just a general test of welding skills,” Cobb said.

The competition begins at 10 a.m., with the awards ceremony at 3 p.m. It will be held in the welding building at GFC MSU, 2100 16th Avenue South. Steel Etc. donated some of the materials students will use in the competition.

The Great Falls College MSU Invitational Welding Competition is open to high school students across the state. Twenty-five spots are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Participating students may advance to the state SkillsUSA welding competition in Havre, and from there, can go on to the national competition.

In addition to the welding invitational, National Career and Technical Education Month aims to highlight the importance of trades education.

Career and Technical Education provides Montana high school students experience in practical, meaningful applications of basic skills such as reading, writing, and mathematics, which helps improve the quality of their education.

CTE motivates potential dropouts and gives all students leadership opportunities in their field and in their communities.

CTE prepares graduates for career fields forecast to experience the largest and fastest growth in the next decade.

For more information on the Great Falls College MSU Invitational Welding Competition or National Career and Technical Education Month, contact Erin Granger, marketing specialist, (406) 771-4314; email: or Monte Cobb, welding instructor, (406) 771-2280; email:



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