The Welding Program instructor at the Columbia-Greene Educational Center (CGEC) has deep roots within the BOCES, dating back to the ‘80s. He provides students real-world insight and perspective into their future industry careers, having begun his own welding education at Questar III.
Students in the welding program study a multitude of industry practices including layout and design, plasma arc cutting, gas tungsten arc welding, metal fabrication, metal preparation, oxy fuel gas welding, shielded metal arc welding (MIG), blueprint reading and more. Paired with the Occupational and Safety Health Administration (OSHA) safety certification and the potential to earn college credits through the program, students graduate from the welding program highly skilled and highly qualified to either enter the workforce or post-secondary education.
Mr. Ed Hull has been the welding instructor at CGEC since 2000. Hull was inspired to learn how to weld to help with necessary machinery repairs on his family’s farm. Sibling rivalry was involved too, as Hull says another major reason he wanted to learn was to be a better welder than his brother. Hull learned how to weld from ‘83-’85 in his Questar III program as a high schooler, taught by previous Program Instructors Howard Stutzman and Mel Hofsteder. When Mr. Hull was a Questar III student, he was the president of CGEC’s SkillsUSA chapter. After graduating from Questar III, Mr. Hull continued his education at Alfred State College where he graduated from autobody and automotive programs. Upon graduation, Hull started his own business, Ed’s Auto Repair, and performed automotive repairs, heavy truck repairs, welding repairs and fabrication of trailers and custom truck bodies until 2005. He began his teaching career at Capital Region BOCES in 1994 where he also taught welding. When his former welding instructor, Mr. Stutzman, retired from his position, Mr. Hull took over as the Questar III welding instructor.
In his interactions with students, he imparts the value of giving your best efforts each day unto students. Mr. Hull reminds his students that hard work pays off and the training received at Questar III can lead to rewarding, high-skill and high-paying careers. Mr. Hull’s favorite aspect of teaching is that every day presents new challenges, which he works through with students through sharing skills and experiences.
Hull says the industry demand for skilled tradespeople is constantly developing. Whether you’re interested in welding pipes in the field, programming welding equipment in manufacturing or operating a water jet or laser cutting system, there are jobs for young, skilled tradespeople.