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John Fitzpatrick, a welding instructor at Big Sandy Community and Technical College (BSCTC), has earned an industry-leading certification through the American Welding Society.

The Certified Welding Inspector credential will allow BSCTCs welding technology to expand into new and emerging employment sectors such as natural gas. Fitzpatrick completed his certification in Charlotte, N.C., last month.

We take great pride in preparing our students to enter the workforce ready to meet the challenges of an ever-changing economy, said Fitzpatrick. This certification will allow us to teach techniques that fall in line with international needs and standards.

Bobby McCool, vice president of institutional services at BSCTC, said Fitzpatricks certification is the first step in aligning the schools welding program with the American Welding Society certification.

This certification is recognized around the world, he said. Our students will receive world-class training and will be job-ready when they graduate.

For more information the Welding Technology program at BSCTC, contact Fitzpatrick at (606) 788-2823 or email