SOUTHERN VIRGINIA HIGHER EDUCATION CENTER WELDING PROGRAM GRAD GOES FROM STUDENT TO INSTRUCTOR
Tara Bailey Sees a Bright Future Ahead With Her Newly Acquired Skills
Richmond, VA – The SVHEC welding program has been a great success since its inception in 2014. Students who complete the program gain National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) certification, a credential recognized by employers across the country. It’s this ability to take the skills learned at SVHEC anywhere that, in part, attracted former student turned instructor Tara Bailey to the program.
Tara grew up in Halifax and was homeschooled her entire life. A quiet person by nature, she often spent time working with her father, an ironworker for more than 20 years, on projects on the family farm. These days spent on the farm working with her dad are when Tara first fell in love with building things and working with her hands. After graduating from high school Tara knew that she wanted to have a career similar to her father’s so she looked into the welding program at SVHEC. “I always enjoyed building things growing up so when it came time to figure out what my next step was going to be the welding program at SVHEC seemed like a perfect fit” Tara said.
Tara enrolled as the first female student of the program at only 17 years old and quickly realized she had made the right decision. Tara noted that “The instructors were really welcoming and we got a lot of hands on instruction. I also like how quickly we moved into actually welding and working in the lab rather than sitting in a classroom.” Tara would often stay after class or go to the lab during her free time and her dedication did not go unnoticed. Program Lead Troy Comer said that Tara is “one of the best students we’ve had here, she’s a natural leader with a real passion for welding. She really opened up through the course of the program and helped her fellow students as well.”
Now that she has completed the program Tara is working as an instructor to help others gain the valuable skills she has. In the future she wants to travel and the nationally recognized certification she received will help her do just that. “I really want to see more of the country and travel for a while. The certification I have is recognized everywhere so the opportunity is there. It’s really one of the aspects of the program I like the most. Once you finish you have a skill you can take with you wherever you want to go” she said.
Those interested in the SVHEC welding program can check out the program website at https://www.svhec.org/welding or call program coordinator Scarlett Brandon at 434-572-5473 or toll free 1-800-283-0098 ext 5473.
Contact: Jordan Butler
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