Three Jones County High School students earn Workforce Welding Certificates at Jones College

ELLISVILLE – A partnership with Jones County High Schools and Jones College’s Workforce Welding program allowed three Jones County High School students to earn a Workforce Welding Certificate as part of a pilot program. For the first time this spring, high school seniors who completed their academic courses were allowed to learn welding through Jones College’s Workforce Welding’s four-month training program because of new guidelines through Accelerate MS. Josh Crosby from South Jones High School, and Northeast Jones High School students, Jena McCardle and Nick McLain took part in this new training opportunity which prepares students for entry-level welding jobs. The high school seniors learned stick, metal inert gas (MIG), and structural welding skills and now have OSHA 10, Forklift and CPR certifications along with their Workforce Welding Certification.

Josh Crosby

“I have enjoyed learning stick welding. This style of welding can be used in the pipeline industry or even outside on farming equipment,” said Crosby. He added, “This program is a great tool for someone to have under their belt because there are many opportunities available after completion.”

McCardle shared, “Learning wire welding and overhead welding techniques were fun to do. It is a skill that can be useful at work or in personal projects.”

The students in Workforce Welding use their skills to assist with various projects on the college campus. McCardle said there was one project she was especially proud to participate in.

Jena McCardle

“Building the cattle gates for the new, Jones College Livestock Show Barn was a project I won’t forget. It was really neat to see how something we made can impact an entire program,” said McCardle.

McLain said he appreciated learning skills that he’ll use on the jobsite. “I have enjoyed learning stick welding. This style of welding is used a lot in manufacturing and companies like Ingalls. It took three weeks of studying to learn the basics of stick welding and since I’m able to practice daily, I’m improving my skills.”

After completing the Workforce Welding program at Jones College, McCardle and McLain said they plan to accept job offers extended by Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula. Additionally, McLain said he also plans to purchase a personal welding truck to offer independent welding services locally.

Crosby plans to continue building upon his skills by taking the welding course at Jones College this fall.

“I will be able to take the skills I have gained through the Workforce Welding program and apply for course credit at the School of Welding at JC. After I complete that program, I am considering enrolling in nursing school with the overall goal of becoming an ICU nurse,” explained Crosby, who used his welding skills to participate in FFA competitions on South Jones High School’s team. His group placed first in the District and Federation competitions, and recently competed for the State championship.

Nick McLain

Workforce Welding instructor, Tracy Warden said his welding course is an excellent opportunity for individuals who want to learn a trade for employment purposes or for personal growth. Oftentimes, professionals in other fields learn how to weld for art and practical purposes for their home and farm. The Workforce Welding program is offered year-round with courses at day and night.

Next fall, Jones College’s Workforce College and the Jones County Career Coaches plan to implement more certificate programs for high school seniors in electrical technology, fiber/broadband, commercial truck driving and advanced manufacturing programs offered through Jones College at the Advanced Technology Center in Ellisville. To learn more, call 601-477-5408 or email,


Jones County Junior College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate degrees. Degree-granting institutions also may offer credentials such as certificates and diplomas at approved degree levels. Questions about the accreditation of Jones County Junior College may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 3033-4097, by calling (404) 679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website (

Statement of Non-Discrimination and ADA Statement: Jones County Junior College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, sex, or disability in its programs, activities, or employment practices. The (ADA/ Section 504) ADA Coordinator, Student Affairs, phone 601-477-2673, and (Title IX) Title IX Coordinator, Hutcheson Hubbard Administration Building, phone 601-477-4127, have been designated to handle inquiries and grievances regarding the non-discrimination policies. Jones County Junior College, 900 South Court Street, Ellisville, MS 39437.