Nebraska FFA Foundation

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Career Readiness with the Mead FFA Chapter

Laura Albro on 06/07/2024

The Mead Agricultural Education program is just one of the FFA chapters in Nebraska that is dedicated to giving students career readiness opportunities. They are accomplishing this by offering their FFA members high-quality, hands-on experience in their new welding laboratory.

Two years ago, the Mead FFA Chapter received a local chapter grant from the Nebraska FFA Foundation. The support from this program helped give their welding laboratory a much-needed facelift. Previous to the update, the welding booths students used were 50 years old. These booths were functional but weren’t preparing students for contests or work outside of the classroom as they were severely outdated. There were a total of five welding stations, each with a different welding technique. In order for students to learn each type of weld, they had to rotate through the stations. This took up extra time during the classes. The air filtration system in the shop was also at the end of its life and was leading to increasing safety concerns.

All of this changed with the purchase and installation of six new welding booths. Now, students can take personal charge of their learning through individualized growth and improvement of their welding skills, says the Mead FFA advisor, Cole Blomendahl. The new booths are linked to a gas manifold system and have four types of welds to choose from oxy-acetylene, arc, MIG, and TIG.

Overall, Mead FFA has become better equipped to let students learn at their own pace and to guide them to agriculture-related career paths. The new welding laboratory is safer, more efficient, and up-to-date. It is allowing students to gain experience that could help them in future careers.