Thurmond Fayall, a welder with 51 years of experience, was in awe when he first walked into the recently opened state-of-the-art welding lab at Timberland High School.
“When I came here, my word was ‘wow,’” Fayall said. “Just wow. I loved it.”
The lab includes 16 modern welding stations, a virtual welding simulator and other metal fabrication devices. Those resources are vastly better than what Fayall used as a student decades ago. Fayall, a coast guard certified welder, left his job at Three D Metal Works Inc. to teach welding at Timberland’s new lab.
“When (the students) leave here, they’re going to be doing it right,” Fayall said.
The $500,000 welding lab is a result of the collaboration of the Berkeley County Economic Development, W International, Pacolet Milliken /Cooper River Partners and Berkeley Electric Cooperative.
“Berkeley County is blessed to have many dedicated partners focused on providing opportunities to train our future workforce,” said Berkeley County Supervisor Johnny Cribb. “This program is a testament to the many paths to success in South Carolina. Berkeley County Council and I have fought for this program and other training opportunities, to help build promise for County citizens and industries. We look forward to celebrating this effort and seeing its success.”
In addition to regular welding classes at Timberland High, there is an adult community education program that will provide attendees the training needed to pursue opportunities with W International and similar manufacturing companies.
“The commitment from our local business and industry partners to outfit this lab in just one year is amazing,” said BCSD Superintendent Dr. Eddie Ingram. “We have a commitment to ensure our students are career ready, and with the support provided to the Timberland welding lab, we can say what our students receive will be cutting edge and timely.”
The welding lab at Timberland High is one of two supported by the aforementioned business partners. A second welding lab at Cross High will open in 2020. With the two new labs, BCSD’s Office of Career and Technical Education will offer welding programs at five campuses and provide an opportunity for all interested students in Berkeley County to pursue a career in welding.