DRCI Welding Program
The welding program at Deer Ridge Correctional Institution is a collaboration between the Oregon Department of Corrections, the DRCI Physical Plant, and Central Oregon Community College. COCC's director of welding at Deer Ridge is Mr. Tucker Bauman.
Mr. Bauman holds an associate of applied science degree in manufacturing technology. He has designed the DRCI welding program, so that it is closely aligned with the manufacturing technology program at COCC's Redmond campus.
The DRCI welding shop at DRCI is approximately 2,500 square feet and features state of the art equipment. The shop took nearly one year to design and complete. Our inaugural welding program enrolled its first class of ten students in August, 2009. These students were carefully selected and had to meet stringent standards of conduct, as well as educational requirements. We looked for students who would foster a spirit of collaboration and teamwork. Students currently earn a 45 credit, one year certificate from the college, which includes both writing & math courses.
Students are in class five days a week and learn shield metal arc welding, gas metal arc welding, gas tungsten arc welding, and flux core arc welding. Each student had to complete a rigorous safety course before beginning the hands on portion of the class. The curriculum involves video, textbooks, many quizzes and tests, as well as in class welding projects. The students have built most of the equipment cages and storage facilities for the program. The welding program is self paced and very outcome focused. It is designed to prepare graduates for employment in an industry in which they should be able to expect continuous employment and job security. There is a demand for well trained and versatile welders. Students who complete the program at DRCI will then test for American Welding Society welding qualification, which is recognized nationwide a step which will increase their employability even more.