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Local Talent Featured in Welding Magazine


BLOOMINGDALE- The talent of Jefferson County Joint Vocational School welding students will be showcased in a national magazine this March. Instructor Todd Parker said his classes have worked intermittently to create their own Jurassic Park, which is filled with steel dinosaurs and other creatures, for more than six years. The models are massive, weigh more than a ton and soon can be seen on the cover and within the pages of The World of Welding, a quarterly periodical published by the Hobart Institute of Welding Technology.

Parker said a representative visited the vocational school in January and noticed the steel statues, and soon the massive structures turned into a magazine story. “The Land That Time Forgot” details the project’s beginning roughly six years ago. “The state requirements for welding wanted us to teach students to use plasma arc cutters,” Parker explained, adding that his classes first created a large metal Velociraptor that was exhibited at the local library and elementary schools.

Bill Cable, who operates the Austin Lake Cabins and RV Park in Richmond, happened to be assisting students with Ohio Graduation Test remediation at the school. When he saw one of the creations, he asked to have it displayed at the park and then made more requests. The welding class began carving out dinosaurs each year to add to Cable’s metal museum, as well as a Chinese dragon, King Cobra and gargoyle. Parker mostly was inspired by his sons’ love of the prehistoric behemoths and his students were tasked with researching them before building a new one. They currently are working to complete a Styracosaurus that will reach 22 feet long and weigh roughly 1,600 pounds, as well as an Apatosaurus which stands at seven feet tall. Cable has donated funding to defray supplies and help with other class-related costs, such as field trips, fees and tools, and no taxpayer funds have been spent on the projects. Parker said each of his students, which at times averaged 15 per class each year, had a hand in designing the creatures and the people at Hobart were very impressed with their skills.

The magazine article will also showcase the students’ hard work, which is something he is both excited and proud to see. He noted that JCJVS students have gone on to study at the Hobart Institute as they prepared for their future in the workforce, while their knowledge of the PAC equipment builds their skill set in the long run. “It’s a win-win,” he concluded.