High School student takes Barton Welding Classes to start a career early | Barton Community College

High School student takes Barton Welding Classes to start a career early

January 31, 2018
Story and photo by Micah Oelze

CTE Month 2018: This feature is the second of four stories to be released by Barton Community College in February in celebration of Career Technical Education (CTE) Month.

CTE Month® is an annual celebration held in February of CTE community members’ achievements and accomplishments nationwide. CTE Month 2018, with its tagline of "Celebrate Today, Own Tomorrow!" gives colleges the chance to inform others of the innovation and excellence that exists within our local CTE programs and raise awareness of the crucial role that CTE plays in readying our students for careers and our nation for economic success.


Sam McGinnis knows at the young age of 19 what it means to be a productive member of society.

McGnnis is both a Great Bend High School and Barton Community College Welding program student. He also works at Scott’s Welding and Orscheln’s. His work ethic is driven by his desire to afford some luxuries in life.

“To have nice things you have got to work for them; it doesn’t come easy,” he said. “You leave when its dark and you get home when its dark.”

An average day for McGinnis involves waking up and attending high school until 12:30 p.m. He then drives to Barton Community College and starts welding courses at 1 p.m. Once classes are over, around 3:30 p.m., he goes to work at Scott’s Welding.

McGinnis attained his job with Scott’s Welding before he started classes at Barton. He heard they needed someone to clean and sweep the floors. After an interview, he landed the job and began to work and take in knowledge from those around him.

“I started learning and watching them weld,” McGinnis said. “I thought I might as well try it.”

McGinnis could have taken many paths to become a welder, he chose Barton Community College because it is local and efficient.

“It’s quick and to the point, and you are not wasting time and money going to a bigger school when you can learn here, close, and get it out of the way,” he said.

Barton’s Welding program prepares students for a career with a 16-credit-hour certificate, which can be completed in one semester.

“The experience [at Barton] has been good; the instructor is always there to help you,” McGinnis said.

Having the job and hands-on training at Barton was something he said was extremely beneficial. Now McGinnis has been able to take on some more tasks besides cleaning at Scott’s Welding.

“Every day is something different,” he said. “You get to learn what it is like to be working on the job.”

McGinnis said he would encourage future students to attend Barton.

“Getting your hands on the equipment and practicing welding prepares you for the standard welder’s test instead of just walking in and taking the test expecting to pass and getting frustrated because you failed,” he said. “Patience and practice make a good welder.”

For more information, visit welding.bartonccc.edu or call (620) 792-9278.

Barton Career Fair

CTE month will culminate with a Career Technical Education Fair open to the public from noon-2:30 p.m. February 28 in the Case New Holland Shop in the Northeast side of the Technical Building. Registration opens at noon. The fair will feature demonstrations, hands-on-activities, refreshments, prizes and photo ops with the Barton mascot. To sign up, contact Denise Schreiber at (620) 792-9324 or schreiberd@bartonccc.edu.

Students in eighth grade through seniors in high school are invited to attend a keynote address and tours beginning at 9:30 a.m. in the auditorium lobby in the Fine Arts Building on campus.

Sam McGinnis poses in Barton’s welding classroom.
Sam McGinnis poses in Barton’s welding classroom.