Thursday, May 31, 2012

UBATC students mark accomplishments at graduation

For Chelsey O’Driscoll, it was the best decision she ever made. 

Going to welding courses at the Uintah Basin Applied Technology College taught her an important and in-demand vocational skill, but also forged a bond with her fellow classmates, O’Driscoll said in remarks to the 2012 UBATC graduating class. UBATC students marked the completion of their studies at Thursday night graduation ceremonies held in Roosevelt’s Junior High School auditorium.

“It’s like a family,” she said of her fellow welding classmates. “We have each other’s backs.”
The UBATC offers vocational, medical and other skills training for Uintah Basin residents. The training offered by UBATC can be valuable in helping Basin residents get ahead in life, said William Ryan, keynote speaker for the night.

Ryan, a UBATC Board of Directors Member, businessman, and Navy veteran, reminded the graduates of the importance of their accomplishments.

“Approximately 30 percent of graduates in the Uintah Basin take on secondary education,” he said. “The fact you’re here separates you from your fellow graduates. You stand out.”

Ryan noted that the largest part of the Uintah Basin’s economy revolves around energy production. 

But, “for every job we have in the oilfield, there are six support jobs created from that job,” he said. Job creation from the oilfield spills over into areas like accounting, transportation, welding and medical fields, he said.

“There is not a program at UBATC that does not support the oilfields,” Ryan said.
Considering how much the energy industry impacts the Uintah Basin, the UBATC can impact individual students, Walker said.

Out of 6,700 students, 64 percent completed their programs, he said, according to latest figure. Of those, 92 percent were placed with related jobs. Students who completed their programs passed their licensing requirements at a rate of 99 percent, Walker said.  The Vernal Express