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Mitchell Tech showcases program in annual welding competition

Mitchell Technical Institute was overrun with welders Friday. The annual Welding Competition took place Friday at the Nordby Trades Center at Mitchell Tech, and eight students received top honors for their knowledge and work completed throughout ...

Mitchell Technical Institute's welding department head Travis Peterson talks to the crowds gathered at the annual Welding Competition as students work on testing weldments Friday at the Nordby Trades Center. (Sara Bertsch / Republic)
Mitchell Technical Institute's welding department head Travis Peterson talks to the crowds gathered at the annual Welding Competition as students work on testing weldments Friday at the Nordby Trades Center. (Sara Bertsch / Republic)
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Mitchell Technical Institute was overrun with welders Friday.

The annual Welding Competition took place Friday at the Nordby Trades Center at Mitchell Tech, and eight students received top honors for their knowledge and work completed throughout the morning. Two of these students were from Mitchell High School with Logan Rietveld taking third place and Jared Sorenson taking eighth.

A total of 85 students participated from more than 20 schools across South Dakota in the welding contest. They took exams and participated in a visual/ultimate unit stress load test.

While there, students were also given a tour of the welding facility and an introduction to the welding and advanced manufacturing technology program provided at MTI.

"It's a great thing," said Travis Peterson, the department head of welding at Mitchell Tech. "And I get emails every day looking for welders and manufacturers, so as we continue with popularity hopefully we can fill these open positions that come to us."

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The competition began in 2014, according to Peterson, and the competition features "top of the line" judges from area industries. These industry leaders will critique and interact with students, providing for networking opportunities.

The competition also allowed Mitchell Tech to show off the campus as well as the welding program, which will soon begin a new nondestructive testing pathway.

Of the high school students who attend the competition, there are often three to four that will return for a welding and manufacturing degree in the fall, which puts even more confidence in Peterson for the growing program, he said.

The top winners from the MTI Welding Competition include:

First: Austin Burmeister, Sioux Falls Roosevelt High School, $500

Second: Aaron Hoelsher, T.F. Riggs High School, $250

Third: Logan Rietveld, Mitchell High School, industry award prize

Fourth: Isaac Doten, Sturgis High School

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Fifth: Timothy Tomac, Lemmon High School

Sixth: Jaden Roblewsky Sioux Falls Roosevelt High School

Seventh: Benjamin Hughes, T.F. Riggs High School

Eighth: Jared Sorenson, Mitchell High School

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