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Washburn Tech Students Explore Trades in Fab Shop Tour

Washburn Tech P1 Group Pictured, above, from left: Mike Wessel, Electrical Fabrication Foreman, with Washburn Tech students; Aquatherm pipe in the P1 Group fabrication shop; Jeremy Price, Pipe Shop Manager, with Washburn Tech students.

As is the case with many visitors to P1 Group’s fabrication shop in Lawrence, KS, students who recently toured the shop were drawn to the bright blue Aquatherm pipe awaiting delivery to a job site.

The students had several questions: “How much faster is it to use this?” “Does this pipe ever corrode?” “Do you need special certifications to weld this?”

Jeremy Price, Pipe Shop Manager, told the students that the pipe has been a great addition to P1’s fab shop line because it can be a faster solution for some projects, it does not corrode and, yes, the shop and welders have earned additional certifications.

“Everything is changing, constantly,” Jeremy said. “We need to keep up or we will be left behind.”

Students from the Climate and Energy Control Program at Washburn Tech, Topeka, spent part of the morning on November 15 touring all facets of the Lawrence shop – pipe fab, plumbing fab, electrical fab, sheet metal fab and the tool shop.

Besides Jeremy, the students also talked with Zach Knoll, Plumbing Fabrication Foreman; Mike Wessel, Electrical Fabrication Foreman; Tom Keating, Sheet Metal Foreman; and Ben Gannaway, Warehouse Operations Manager.

Their instructor, Joshua Thompson, said the opportunity to hear from representatives of various trades was invaluable. When students have the chance to be exposed to different crafts, it helps them make solid decisions on what trade to pursue.

“Also, it allowed the students to see some of the leaders they might work under. Relationships are important and this kind of visit helps to get those started” he said.

Thompson worked at P1 Group for three years as an HVAC technician, before he became a technical instructor about nine years ago.

He reached out to Mitch Campbell, Vice President, and Kyndel Paulsen, HVAC Lead Technician, to arrange the tour.

“I really enjoyed seeing all the changes that P1 is making and I’m encouraged to continue pointing students to a contractor that will continue to invest in their workers and challenge them to be the best,” he said.

Thanks for paying us a visit, Washburn Tech. Come see us again soon!

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