Lewis CTHS graduate ready to join welding workforce

Lewis CTHS graduate ready to join welding workforce
Posted on 07/11/2017
Lewis CTHS graduate ready to join welding workforceCTHS Israel Picon

Israel Picon (left) graduated recently from the Lewis CTHS with welding certifications. Pictured with Picon is Alexander Serrato, who placed first at the Skills USA District competition as a level 2 welder.

CTHS Israel Picon

By Reesha Brown
PISD Communications

Israel Picon graduated recently from the Lewis Career and Technical High School with enough qualifications to start a career in welding. 

Picon developed a passion for welding after recognizing a need for more professionals in the industry.

“Everybody wants to be a lawyer or a doctor,” Picon said, “but we need welders too.”

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in the welding trade is projected to grow four percent by 2024. Employers usually look for entry-level workers who have received technical training in high school or a post-secondary institution. Individuals typically start a career in welding with a high school diploma, earning about $45,000 in the state of Texas.

These labor statistics encouraged Picon to prepare for a career in welding. He traded weekends and summers to take on the added responsibility of studying college-level courses at San Jacinto while maintaining a 4.59 grade point average at Lewis CTHS.

In four years, he earned industry professional certifications from San Jacinto College, the American Welding Society (AWS) in structural welding, the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

“I am proud to say that I will be the first welder in my family,” he said.

Picon has garnered respect from professionals in the industry after winning first place at the ABC National Craft Championship, where he competed against welders across the country.

“It was such an amazing feeling,” he said.

As an aspiring welder, Picon knew that the Lewis CTHS would help him make a seamless transition into the workforce.

“I don’t think the traditional high school experience would have been the right fit for me,” Picon said. “I ended up in the right place.”

Pasadena ISD’s first and only Career and Technical Educational (CTE) high school offers eligible students a unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience and certifications in industries that are in high demand.

He credited teachers at Lewis CTHS for helping him discover his passion for welding and excelling in school.

“Mr. [Ezequiel] Garcia helped me out a lot,” he said. “I was already pretty good, but Mr. Garcia taught me a lot about welding and about life.”

Picon plans to work in the welding industry, then return to college and become a welding instructor after he retires.

“I want to help kids like my teachers helped me.”

For more information about the Lewis Career and Technical High School, please visit the link.

CTHS Israel Picon

CTHS Israel PiconPictured: CTE Business Partner Liaison and former welding teacher Ezequiel Garcia with Picon