| Pamlico Community College
One of Pamlico Community College’s trailblazing students is back on campus – this time to teach.
Class of 2019 member Jimmy Silver, who was the first Welding Technology graduate from Pamlico to participate in East Carolina University’s Bachelor of Science in Industrial Technology (BSIT) Transfer Program, joined the PCC faculty this semester.
The hard-working 25-year-old is teaching Welding full time at the college while also studying for his bachelor’s degree at ECU.
“It’s a lot to do,” Silver said with a chuckle. “It’s a workload.”
Despite the long hours working at one institution and studying for his four-year degree at another, he said he’s enjoying himself and is glad to be back at the Grantsboro campus.
“I just really love the atmosphere here,” Silver said. “When I heard there was an opening, I just jumped on it.”
PCC President Dr. Jim Ross said the college was happy Silver decided to return and help the college’s growing Welding Technology program. The program offers both curriculum courses and short-term Continuing Education classes.
“All of us at Pamlico Community College love to see our graduates return and join our team,” he said. “Jimmy Silver was an outstanding student here. Not only was he the first person from our Welding program to take advantage of ECU’s Bachelor of Science in Industrial Technology Transfer Program, he became a meticulous and skilled welder. He brings a lot to our program.”
Welding Technology is one of PCC’s fastest growing curriculum programs. Over the last four years, the program has increased in enrollment from two students in 2016 to nearly 30 now.
Welding can be a rewarding career field. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for welders in 2019 was $42,490. Some experienced welders earn much more.
The job outlook is strong nationally, with growth in the field projected between 3 and 6 percent over the next 10 years, federal statistics show. There also are many good-paying jobs available in North Carolina.
Silver’s personal story shows how community colleges can help men and women find what they love to do.
He graduated in 2013 from Parrott Academy in Kinston. Following time in the Navy and a stint selling cars, he went to work at a Jones County hog farm. It was there that he learned to fabricate and repair metal fencing.
He also tried his hand at welding at a neighboring community college and found he was very good at it.
“It came very naturally to me,” Silver said.
PCC Welding Instructor Joe Flynn, who knew Silver, suggested he give Pamlico a look. He decided to enroll in PCC’s Welding Technology AAS program, where he thrived. Not only did Silver earn his associate’s degree, he was accepted by ECU for its innovative transfer program.
Silver acknowledged the transition from student to instructor was a little intimidating at first.
“It was somewhat nerve-racking,” he said, adding that he wondered what students would think of him.
However, it wasn’t long before Silver gained confidence and became comfortable as an instructor. He said he has a good command of the material, has a good group of students and enjoys a very positive relationship with instructor-turned-boss Flynn, who still teaches in the program.
“I don’t think it’s been a hard transition at all,” Silver said. “I know what Joe expects from his students and I know what he expects from me. I would never want to let him down.”
He plans to complete his ECU degree in the next two years and hopes to remain at PCC.
“I don’t plan on running off anytime soon,” he said.
For more information about PCC’s Welding Technology program, contact Joe Flynn at 252-249-1851, ext. 3058.
Sandy Wall can be reached at 252-249-1851, ext. 3010, or [email protected]