Cabot’s Abe Curly cleans up the laydown yard at SCCTC prior to the pipe delivery.
The welding program at the Susquehanna County Career & Technology Center (SCCTC) has allowed for a unique partnership between the school in Springville and those operating in the Marcellus shale. In addition to the SCCTC providing certified welders for companies like Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation, Southwestern Energy, Williams Companies and other energy partners, Cabot has made a habit of donating scrap pipe for training purposes.
“Last month, we arranged for the delivery of about 25 tons of miscellaneous pipes to the school. Several employees from Cabot and our subsidiary, GDS, assisted with the project,” Cabot materials specialist Becky Snyder related. “Our Abe Curley did some sprucing up of the lay down yard at the school prior to delivery, and Down to Earth Equipment Rental donated the use of a skid-steer for safe and efficient unloading of the pipe.”
Welding is an exact science, and there is no room for error, so the students need all of the practice they can get. That requires a lot of steel and, without these periodic donations, the school might have to purchase more pipe and pass that cost on to the students.
“Having enough pipe on hand for training can also get them ready for their testing and certification more quickly,” Snyder remarked. “Instructors and administrators at SCCTC are always happy to receive the steel, and we always enjoy the visits.”
“The students are able to perform ‘live work,’” SCCTC executive director and school counselor Alice Davis said of the pipe donation. “It helps tie in academic numeracy and gives the students hands-on experience while completing required welding program competencies.”
Just because the pieces no longer meet Cabot’s specs, sending them to a recycling yard just doesn’t make sense. “When the heat number is worn off it, or a segment of it is damaged, we could scrap it,” Snyder explained. “But instead, we gave it to the school to reuse it. They practice on it. They cut it, re-weld it and do patches. Sometimes they build stuff out of it like pipe racks or shelving.”
“The pipe is critical for students in completing value-added tasks,” Gary Fenton, SCCTC assistant director, explained. “These projects are added to the program of study and designed to get students prepared for local jobs in the gas industry field.” The pipe literally allows students opportunities to cut, fit, and weld different joints as well as to inspect their own work on various sizes and types of pipe as per industry standards.
In addition to the new shipment of pipe, Davis noted, the SCCTC students have a new welding instructor this year: Adam Kavka.