Local high school students graduate from Banker Steel pilot program, job offers

Since January, the students took classes to learn about steel, welding trade

By Magdala Louissaint - Lynchburg Bureau Reporter

LYNCHBURG, Va. - Bailey Noel is one of Banker Steel’s newest employees.

“I’m very excited. Coming out of high school and starting work right out of high school. It’s going to be great,” Noel said.

He and other high school students graduated Friday from the company’s pilot program, Banker High.
 
Every day since January, the students took classes to learn about the steel and welding trade.
 
But the courses weren’t always easy for the Brookville High School senior.
 
“A couple people, they knew how to already weld so they were pretty good. But coming into that class I didn’t really know how to weld. And they taught me how to weld and I’m alright at it now,” Noel said.

Through the challenges, Noel showed his teacher and his father, he was determined.
 
“Once we got out of the classroom doing more of a hands on portion. Once we were able to see what we were talking about, discussing. It started clicking for him,” Ronald Riner, the lead instructor for Banker High and University programs, said. “It was something to enjoy because you can see the confidence build in each of the individuals, including Bailey."

 “I’m very happy for him. My son is hands-on. He really like to work with his hands. So this is going to be a great opportunity for him,” Michael Noel, Bailey’s father, said.

On Monday, Bailey Noel will start with the company part-time. He will become full-time when he graduates high school in a few weeks.
 
“I really like the work they do. It’s for a hard working person though. You got to be hard working to work at Banker Steel,” Bailey Noel said.

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