Muhlenberg Job Corps Center

Wabnitz and Students Showing the Artistic Side of Welding

January 9th, 2019

Marty Wabnitz, a welding instructor, was asked to create something for the MJCC 2018 Christmas party.  Marty went to work designing a Christmas gift. This challenge had him surfing the internet, along with a few other avenues, to find the perfect gift from the welding department.  After about a day of designing several different ideas, Marty said “It’s time to put this idea to metal.”

After the design phase was complete, Marty decided it was time to incorporate some of the welding students at MJCC into the process.  Jake Carson and Zach Fibbert were exactly the right ones for this project. The first thing the students did was to get scrap metal from the shop to test the design and ensure it was the look they were anticipating. Once Jake and Zach had the test designs complete, they started working on the first piece of artwork. The first one took a full day to complete but after that the guys were able to complete one in about an hour and a half.

The team created five for the MJCC Christmas committee. The MJCC Christmas committee used them for gifts that were given out during the Christmas party. Marty, Jake, and Zach also made one for Courtney Pevaler, who was the entertainment for the MJCC Christmas party. The team used their artistic talent and added a little different design for Courtney’s gift. The team added a guitar behind the Kentucky state emblem for Courtney’s passion for playing music.

Marty, then came up with the idea to take some of the extra scrap metal they had leftover and show the welding department’s appreciation for some of MJCC staff. They made and delivered four more gifts. Peter Lafleur, MJCC Center Director, Heather Melton, Head of Food Services, Debbie Harris, receiving clerk, and Lori Holloway, Head of Human Resources all received these special student made gifts.

When Debbie was asked what she thought about the gift she stated “Marty and the students worked on cutting, grinding, welding and painting these metal art pieces. All materials used were from left over, used pieces of metal from classroom practice.  What a great way to refurbish and create something that will be loved and kept as keepsake for many years to come.  Way to go MJCC welding students and instructor, Marty.  The one that I received in the Warehouse/Receiving is proudly displayed.”

Marty’s creativity and generosity continued as he came up with an idea to help a local church in the community. The church was hosting a benefit to raise money for a lady struggling with MS. The goal was to help her with some of her medical bills. The team got back to work and made five more. Marty delivered the gifts and they were sold in an auction to help pay on some of the medical bills.

Marty and his team made a total of sixteen novelty pieces to give away. Each one serving its purpose.  Once again MJCC is working hard for the students and the community.