CHICOPEE, MA – For the 19th year in a row, Notch Mechanical held the Notch Pipe Welding competition for 101 welding students from vocational high schools across Southern New England. The schools this year included:
- Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School, Marlborough, MA
- Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School, Upton MA
- Bristol-Plymouth Regional Technical School, Taunton, MA
- Chicopee Comprehensive High School, Chicopee, MA
- Franklin County Technical School, Turners Falls, MA
- Gateway Regional High School, Huntington, MA
- Howell Cheney Technical High School, Manchester, CT
- McCann Technical School, North Adams, MA
- Old Colony Regional Vocational Technical High School, Rochester, MA
- Shawsheen Valley Technical High School, Billerica, MA
- Taconic High School, Pittsfield, MA
- Worcester Technical High School, Worcester, MA
On May 24, 2017 students, teachers, sponsors, and public officials were invited to witness the final bend off at Notch’s headquarters in Chicopee. Before this event, Notch representatives travelled to each school where every participating student performed a 6″ open-root pipe weld using the Shielded Metal Arc Welding process, also known as SMAW or “stick” welding. After this is done, the completed weld coupons are visually judged by certified weld inspectors in accordance with ASME Section IX requirements. This year, forty welded coupons passed the visual test and would be physically bent at this final event. Out of the 40 finalists, eleven passed both visual and bend tests. Finally, judges were able to select the top three winners based on the overall quality of their root and face welds. These were the top winners:
First Place: Kyle Bry, Franklin County Technical High School
Second Place: Dan Gaskill, Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School
Third Place: Matt Costello, Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School
As the first place finisher, Kyle Bry was named “Top Notch Welder” and awarded $500 cash, a prize pack of welding tools and supplies, a Bend Off Medallion and a first place trophy. His school received a $500 certificate for professional supplies to use in their welding program.
The guest speaker at this year’s event was Chuck Borstel, the current Commissioner of the Division of Professional Licensure (DPL) for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Chuck offered valuable career and life advice for the students.
This year, there was a special recognition for Gateway Regional and its weld program instructor, Mr. Atkinson. Earlier in the year, Gateway alum and current Notch employee Will Kelley, placed second in the National Craft Championships. The school was presented with a certificate of recognition and welding rod for their weld program.
As always, several generous sponsors* donated prizes consisting of “tools of the trade” for the top three winners and the winning school. There were enough door prizes this year that no participating student left the event empty handed.
A family-owned business since 1972, Notch Mechanical Constructors specializes in the installation of piping systems for industrial and institutional facilities. From our offices in Chicopee and Hudson, Massachusetts, we serve customers in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Southern New Hampshire.
*This years sponsors included: Notch Mechanical Constructors, Airgas, Collins, City Machine, Maine Oxy, Peterson Steel, Tek Stainless Piping Products, Mackey Mechanical, Mass ABC, BE Crowley, FW Webb, Ivey Industries, ITW North America, Marcotte Ford, Swiss Uniform, Giombetti Associates, TP Daley Insurance Company, Cap & Hitch of New England, Chicopee Tire, Independent Pipe and Supply, Gould Construction Institute, Hadley Printing, Nefco, Sullivan Metals, Tierney and Dalton, International Valve and Instrument Corp.