Area high school students in the State Fair Career and Technology Center (SFCTC) Welding class on State Fair Community College’s Sedalia campus used their knowledge and skills to build four benches for "The Avenues Streetscape" project for historic downtown Sedalia.

Last fall, Meg Liston, Sedalia Downtown Development Inc. (SDDI) director, contacted Eric Rehmer, SFCTC director, about high school students building the next set of benches needed for the Streetscape enhancement project. ProEnergy employees built the benches for the first phase of the improvement project. After Rehmer received the design sheets and coordinated the project with Paul Hooper, SFCTC Welding instructor, students in the morning and afternoon classes took on the project.

“The SDDI board thought it would be a good opportunity for CTC students in the welding program to use their classroom skills to build the benches we needed for our Streetscape improvements,” said Liston. “We were happy when the school accepted the challenge, and we are pleased with the results.”

Funds from Central Business and Cultural District city tax board and sponsorships from individuals and businesses were used to pay for the materials for the four benches SFCTC welding students built.

“Building these benches was a great learning experience for our welding students,” said Hooper. “With a little help from students in one of the college classes, they used print reading skills and learned valuable lessons about fabricating, attention to small details, teamwork, and the importance of precise measurement. There were a few bumps along the way; however, those types of things cause students to learn and retain things they normally would not experience in a controlled learning environment.”

SFCTC offers free technical training to juniors and seniors from 12 high schools in 10 school districts and is one of four technical schools in Missouri affiliated with a community college.  Programs are offered in all career paths, providing classroom instruction and hands-on training in some of the fastest growing occupations in Missouri.

It prepares all students who graduate for entry-level employment, advanced job training, entry into two- or four-year college programs, entry into apprenticeship programs, or entry into military training. For more information, go to

In the photos: Students in the morning SFCTC Welding class are, from left, Chase Smith, Smith-Cotton High School; Jaden Harshner, La Monte; and Paul Hooper, instructor.

Students in the afternoon SFCTC Welding class are, from left, Kevin Steele, Smithton High School; Jacob Weiser, Warsaw High School; Paul Hooper, instructor; Colby Fox, Warsaw High School; Tommy Wolfe, Otterville High School; Gaige Palmer, Smithton High School; and Cole Gruender, Tipton High School.


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