Tidewater Community College’s Portsmouth Campus is home to the area’s largest welding lab.

On most weekday mornings, students from Portsmouth Public Schools are transported from their high schools to the Portsmouth Campus, where they are learning a trade that will last a lifetime.

Instructor Marcus Moody, a TCC graduate, provides instruction and guides students with their hands-on learning.

“I like teaching welding because we’re giving students a skill that will last the rest of their life. I enjoy seeing that spark when they get it,” Moody said. “Coming from industry, I’m sharing job success skills too. We talk a lot about responsibility, accountability, being on time and safety on the job.”

Once in the lab, students put on safety gear and head to individual booths where they can safely handle the tools of the trade. During each session, Moody, ever watchful, moves about the lab assisting students with their projects.

“We’ve been delivering hands-on instruction to our dual-enrolled welding students even though Portsmouth Public Schools are still fully remote,” said Thomas Stout, pathway dean for Maritime and Skilled Trades. “We have 22 students, and they were all eager to get back in the lab.”

TCC’s welding curriculum lines up with industry standards. The lab is an official testing facility for the American Welding Society.

Students who complete the program are sought by employers in South Hampton Road, including shipyards, power plants and private companies. The median pay, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, exceeds $42,000.

What students are saying

“I picked up welding pretty easily. It’s just fun to me. I plan to do nuclear welding on a ship or power station. I’m more confident now and know I will get a job after high school without having to do extra training. It helps that Mr. Moody is a pretty good teacher and very understanding.” – Aurora Finchum, Churchland High

“I want to be an underwater welder. I like being in the water, and I like welding. With this job, I can combine two things I enjoy.  Mr. Moody is a great teacher. He won’t tell you the answer but leads you to find it on your own. That’s how you get better. Every day I learn more and more.” – Ryan Payton, Woodrow Wilson High

About the instructor

A skilled technician, Moody has more than seven years of industry experience. He has worked in machine shops and for private contractors, where he built parts for machinery.

More information

Learn about TCC’s welding certificate programs here or contact Dean Stout at tstout@tcc.edu. For information about TCC’s dual enrollment programs for high school students, email enroll@tcc.edu.