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Thomasville Fairgrounds hosts Weld Expo

Published: Jun. 22, 2012 at 5:03 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 25, 2012 at 5:04 PM EDT
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THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) - The unemployment rates in Albany and southwest Georgia went up this month, after several months of decline.

But while many industries are still lacking in job creation, there are thousands of jobs available for skilled workers.

The need for skilled welders was demonstrated Friday in Thomasville.

Look around your house.

You may not even realize how much of what you own was made by experienced welders.

"Everything that we look at that we buy so many times from automobiles to small kitchen items, they're welded together," said Thomasville Airgas Manager Wandell Boyd.

Airgas hosted a welding expo in Thomasville today for customers, manufacturers, and the public.

"We're demonstrating the broad range of products that we manufacture from gas apparatus, to MIG welding, TIG welding, stick welding, plasma cutting. All the process, metal working processes for cutting or welding basically," said Victor Technologies Rep Steve Weaver.

Experts say the demand for welders is higher now than it has ever been. "I've been with Lincoln Electric since 1984 and as far as I'm concerned, I've never seen more of a need for good skilled welding, people that know how to weld, than today," said Lincoln Electric District Sales Manager Russ Farrar.

And that's good news for high school student and future underwater welder Leonel Barrera. "It gets me more excited. More into it. More hands on."

Barrera says his favorite machine was Lincoln Electric's virtual welder.

"We've got a wide variety of machines. Anything from electric type machines that you plug into the wall, all the way to 600 amp engine drives that are run based on diesel power," said Farrar.

Friday's event also served as a fundraiser for Operation Homefront which provides emergency financial and other assistance to the families of veterans and wounded warriors.

Airgas is the nation's largest distributor of industrial, medical, and special gases as well as welding equipment and safety products.

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