2023 Outstanding CTE Program Award

West-MEC Welding Technology
Delphina Yazzie and Eric Phye

Delphina Yazzie and Eric Phye are the Welding Instructors for the CTE Program of the Year at West-MEC.

West-MEC’s welding program is innovative because it offers hands-on training in state-of-the-art welding technologies that are relevant to current industry standards. The program also emphasizes safety and job readiness.

Another significant competition is its successful hosting of the annual Welding Thunder competition. This event brings together high school welding students from across the state to show case their skills and compete for top prizes. It is an excellent opportunity for students to network with industry professionals and potentially secure employment or apprenticeships.

Also, the Taste of Thunder event is a unique opportunity for community members to experience welding firsthand and gain an appreciation for the craft. Being co-hosted by a female instructor, they have increased non-traditional interest in a highly male dominant career. Overall, Delphina Yazzie and Eric Phye work hard to make sure that West-MEC’s welding program is innovative and successful in preparing students for the workforce and advancing the field of welding education. West-MEC’s welding CTE program teachers demonstrate the ability to teach all students by implementing a variety of teaching strategies that cater to different learning styles. Their success is evidenced by their students’ achievement of relevant industry credentials, such as the American Welding Society (AWS) certification. This certification indicates that students have met industry standards and are prepared for entry-level welding positions. With a 100% pass rate, the program has the state’s highest Technology Student Association (TSA) scores. (Always a friendly competition between Del and Eric, who will be ranked higher). This achievement speaks to the program’s ability to prepare students for success in both technical skills and leadership development.

West-MEC’s welding program is sending two all-female fabrication teams to compete at state year. West-MEC’s Welding program is sending more than fifteen students to state competitions this year. Welding Thunder is an annual welding competition held at West-MEC, where students from different high schools in the area come together to compete in various welding challenges. is an outreach program allowing West-MEC students to share their skills and knowledge with middle and elementary school students. The program involves setting up welding stations at local schools and allowing younger students to try welding under the supervision of West-MEC’s welding students.