Tuesday night the Southeast Dubois County School Board gave recognition to Forest Park Senior Ken Jochem for his State Welding Championship win at the Skills USA Welding Contest held at J. Everett Light Career Center in Indianapolis on April 16th.
Second place was Eli Loveland and Travis Jacob picked up third. Jochem will advance to national competition in Louisville June 20th through the 24th.
Jochem says the work invested in taking part in competition comes with practice and studying for exams. Not only are contestants given blueprints to construct a project at this competition they are graded on the level of accuracy and workmanship as well as having to complete a written exam that tests on welding knowledge.
Jochem provides insightful advice for those who have an interest in the same field.
Jochem says he’s interested in the welding field because it presents a challenge. He says several of the projects needed to accomplish are fun and interesting.
He received a $10,000 scholarship to Ohio Technical College; a $2,500 scholarship to Vincennes University; and a $7,500 scholarship to Lincoln Tech. Jochem adds that within the 2 years he has been involved with welding he has been offered an estimate of under $60,000 in scholarships.
Jochem has signed with the Plumbers & Pipefitters Union.
The school board extended their appreciation by stating that the district is fortunate to have supporting parents such as Jochem’s father who was present at the board meeting to observe his son’s recognition for winning state.