Think you can wield a welding torch? Step up alongside the best craftsmen from lift truck maker The Raymond Corp. of Greene, N.Y., and you'll soon find out how good your skills are (or aren't).
Nearly 30 Raymond employees reported for the company's first-ever welding contest in March, inspired by a similar competition held yearly in Japan by Raymond's parent company, Toyota Industries Corp.
Welders had to be ready to complete a written test, a skills test, and a practical test where each participant had to create a pressure vessel.
The top three finishers won a plaque and cash prize, and the company won something even more valuable—a chance to review the contest results and identify areas where its workers needed to hone their skills.
"Our company has one of the largest welding departments in New York state, which means continuous improvement and skills knowledge are a priority," said Raymond welding manager Ruben Sitts.
The company also contributed lessons learned from the exercise to help with the implementation of new tests at the New York State SkillsUSA welder competition, a student competition supported by $25,000 worth of steel, welding equipment, and supplies donated by Raymond, Airgas Inc., and Miller Electric Mfg. Co.