Waukon High School junior completes NICC welding program

Waukon High School junior Lukas Larson has earned his career pathway certificate from Northeast Iowa Community College's (NICC) welding program.

Larson joined the Northeast Iowa Career Learning Link program in 2016. The program helps high school students investigate high-demand careers. 

Larson grew up watching his father and grandfather making welding repairs, according to an announcement. When he learned about the Welding (Basic) career pathway certificate in advanced manufacturing, he enrolled.

“Northeast Iowa Community College is so close to my high school that I took advantage of the opportunity right away,” Larson said in the announcement.

To earn college credits, he also took several other courses. While enrolled in the welding program, he learned how to interpret blueprints, safety basics and the fundamentals of welding. The certificate qualifies him to work in advanced manufacturing.

“I received great experience from the Welding career pathway certificate program at Northeast Iowa Community College,” Larson said. “We worked on welding joints, including aluminum, MIG (metal inert gas), aluminum pulse welding, TIG (tungsten inert gas) and steel. We also welded in flat, vertical, horizontal and overhead positions to increase our skills.”

In addition to his high school and NICC Cresco Center welding lab studies, Larson competed in wrestling, track and football. Although he was sidelined by an injury in his junior year, he plans to continue his education at a four-year college and play college football.

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