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    Vocational college students turn helium tanks into pumpkin lamps

    Date: 20-Oct-2022

    Henry County, Virginia (WDBJ) – Martinsville Career Academy prepares 11th and 12th graders for the post-high school career by providing them with real-world experience.
    Welding students at the academy use their skills to make gourd lanterns from helium tanks.
    “First you drain the freon out of them, and then cut off the top,” says eleventh grader Cody Phillips. “Then you will draw a face on it to make a pumpkin and then carve it. Then you’re going to paint it, and that’s how it’s sold.”
    Students don’t just improve their welding skills, they learn the business side of things.
    “We’re talking paint cost, electricity cost and equipment cost,” said Jerry Bird, HVAC instructor at Career Academy. “So that’s the business model for them to learn how to run a business after they graduate.”
    “A lot of companies now want our students to understand social skills, not the real deals they make. They want them to know how a business is going to be successful. So we are trying to include these soft skills in all of our courses here,” Bert said. De added.
    “It gave me the experience to do what you would do at work. All this is practically. I really enjoy going out and doing things rather than sitting and writing. So that’s great,” Phillips explained.
    In their next project, the students will use horseshoes to build snowmen for the local riding academy.

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