Mohave Community College’s student welding team won the People’s Choice Award in the Welders Without Borders, Welding Thunder Competition in Las Vegas. In addition to the People’s Choice Award, the MCC team of students grabbed an overall third place finish in a field of 16 competitors from across the western U.S.

The welding competition was part of the national FABTECH convention, which is North America’s largest metal forming, fabricating, welding and finishing event.

“They did outstanding, I’m very proud of them,” said Buddy May, MCC’s director of welding technology.

The two day welding competition required the students to build a barbeque grill and griddle on site, and then cook a meal on it.

Every school was required to build it with the same materials and according to the specifications given them.  However, the schools could add extras if they wanted, as long as they stayed under a budget of $200 and didn’t add more than 100 pounds to the barbeque.

MCC welders wowed the crowd with their “We the People” theme.  It included doors that resemble the American flag, along with tributes to the armed forces and the U.S. Constitution.

“Our MCC students proudly showed their teamwork and their compassion for their teammates and everybody worked together extremely hard to make this happen,” said Andy Studer, welding instructor who helped prepare the team for the competition.

MCC is home to the first American Welding Society accredited test facility in Arizona.  The welding program is also accredited by the National Center for Construction Education and Research.

The American Welding Society estimates 250,000 new welders will be needed in the workforce by the year 2020.