Rhea County High welders are ready to join workforce - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Rhea County High welders are ready to join workforce

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Sherita Tallent Sherita Tallent
Diego Bautista and Ryan Blackstone Diego Bautista and Ryan Blackstone
EVENSVILLE, TN (WRCB) - Every day, sparks fly in Ryan Blackstone's welding class at Rhea County High school.  Blackstone is a graduate of this program, and fifteen years later he's returned to his alma mater, leading a group of award-winning, certified student welders.

Once considered a low priority in high schools, career and technical education is a source of pride at Rhea County High, and why not? Seventeen students recently earned their certification, which will give them a big boost when they enter the workforce.

Sherita Tallent has made history.  She's Rhea County's first certified female welder.  Another first is Diego Bautista, the school's first Hispanic student who has earned certification.

Assistant principal Sheila Massengill said student certifications wouldn't have been possible without donations from the community to cover the cost of the testing.  She also credits three Chattanooga businesses: Heatec, Commercial Metals, and alstom for supporting the class with supplies.  

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