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East Career and Technical Academy Students Visit SouthWest Steel to Learn about Welding

Sixteen students from the Automotive Mechanical Technology (AMT) Program at East Career and Technical Academy (ECTA) visited Southwest Steel at their site in Henderson, Nevada, on February 10, 2016, to have a first-hand look at careers in welding. The visit was hosted by Matt Goll, Shop Manager for Southwest Steel.

While visiting the Southwest Steel, students first learned about the safety protocols of welding and also the hazards of not following OSHA requirements. Mr. Goll emphasized that knowing math is very important and using logic and safety when welding. Students viewed plans showing the overview of a complete project of stairs and then another plan showing the structure of one complete stair of the same project. He said it was important to understand the entirety of a project so that as a welder, you know how all of the pieces will fit together in order to keep a focus on the end result. Following this presentation, students received vests and donned their safety goggles as they were led on a tour of the facilities.

The beginning of the tour led to the steel shop and students viewed large machines and examples of stairs that were being molded and welded for the new Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California. Southwest Steel also made the stairs for Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California, where the 2016 Superbowl was held.

During the tour, students learned about testing the quality of the products. They watched Southwest Steel’s Quality Product Control Manager demonstrate how to find weaknesses in a piece of steel that had been welded by using a machine that applies ultrasonic testing.

Students then toured the architecture steel fabrication shop courtesy of Neil Turner, the Detailing Manager. They learned how stainless steel and aluminum metals are crafted to be used in buildings all over the United States. Many properties on the strip contract with Southwest Steel to make elaborate steel structures inside their hotels and casinos.

The students enjoyed the trip and were fascinated with how metal can be used for many different purposes. Several of the students plan to follow a career path in welding.

Thank You Letter from ECTA

Hello, Matt. That was such an enriching and educational field trip! Our sincerest thanks to you and your staff for all of the knowledge that you provided and the tour of your facilities. I know that the students, Mr. Centeno, and myself were in awe with all that you and your staff accomplish and we gained a deep respect for welding. I can personally say that this was one of the best field trips that I have been on and when I look at stairs and other steel structures, I will have a better understanding and appreciation of all of the hard work your team has done to make our lives easier and more aesthetically pleasing.

It was a pleasure and an honor to meet all of you and congratulations on the magnificent work that you do
all over the United States. I felt like I was in the presence of welding Olympians.

Best regards,


Lisa Edler | Community Partnership & Internship Coordinator, ECTA

Thanks from the Students