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Accident At Work Leads To Change Of Direction For VGCC Vocational Student Of The Semester

If it had not been for an accident on the job, Gregory Perry would likely have been helping restore power lost from the Dec. 4-5 ice storm rather than being honored as Vocational Student of the Fall Semester at Vance-Granville Community College.

Perry, a Hillsborough native who lives in Butner, worked 14 years for an electrical contractor, stringing lines and repairing outages. But he injured his back on the job and was unable to continue in that line of work. Realizing he had to find a new trade, he began to consider his options.

“I had taken some welding in high school and had enjoyed it,” Perry said. “I decided I wanted to work at something I enjoy so I made the decision to train in welding. The Welding Technology program at Vance-Granville has an excellent reputation, and I enrolled in the Fall Semester.”

It was an excellent match. Welding Technology program head/instructor Bill Jones said that Perry is an ideal student. “I wish I had a whole classroom full of students like him,” Jones said.

And Perry is highly complimentary of Jones and the VGCC program. “Being a student at Vance-Granville Community College has been a great experience this fall,” he said. “Mr. Jones’ past welding experience and teaching techniques help his students succeed in learning welding skills. The layout of the shop and the course of study ensures a safe and easy way to learn.”

Perry said he plans to look for employment in welding in industry upon his completion of the one-year VGCC program in August 2003. One field that interests him is the fabrication of NASCAR racers that is done by a company in Greensboro.

Jones points out that there are a lot job opportunities for graduates of the welding program, and that he receives calls frequently looking for VGCC grads.

In the photo above, Gregory Perry of Butner, center, accepts a plaque naming him Vocational Student of Fall Semester at Vance-Granville Community College from James H. Wheeler Jr., left, chairman of Vocational Education and Public Services at the school. At right is Bill Jones, program head/instructor for Welding Technology, the program in which Perry is enrolled.