KC Success Story: Precision Welding & Fabrication


Chris Johnson and Thomas D. Martin Jr., former Kaskaskia College welding students, became co-owners of Precision Welding & Fabrication in July, 2012. This business specializes in fabricating aluminum and steel projects to meet the needs of their customers.

Chris Johnson worked at North American Lighting for 6 years.  He was affected by a reduction of force in 2009 and decided to be proactive and return to school. Chris wanted a skill that would ensure him a secure future so he decided welding was his calling. Chris started Kaskaskia College January, 2010 and graduated with his Advanced Welding Certificate in December, 2011.

Chris said entering into the Kaskaskia College welding program was the best decision he has ever made. This not only taught him to be a welder, but also gave him the skills to become an Adjunct Professor here at Kaskaskia College in the spring of 2012. He said there was no other college around the state that would have given him all of the skills needed to succeed in today’s market.  Without such a great instructor, Associate Professor Kevin Ray, this program would not be where it is today. Mr. Ray brings his past history from the Navy Seabees and his journeyman skills to the classroom. He not only lectures to explain how to weld and why, but also teaches the students how to weld at a high level. Mr. Ray makes sure that every student who finishes his program has the proper A.W.S. certifications to get good secure jobs in the welding industry.

Thomas Martin, another former student of the KC’s welding program and co-owner of Precision Welding & Fabrication, retired from Southwestern Airlines. After being a hobbyist welder for 15 years he decided to pursue a welding career. He started taking welding classes in the summer of 2011 until the spring of 2012. Tom said that he would not be where he is today had he not taken classes from Mr. Kevin Ray at Kaskaskia College. He said that he learned so much from the welding program and found out that some of the things he had been doing in welding were all wrong. His mother Nina is the accountant of this business.

Precision Welding & Fabrication is located at 402 N. Poplar in Centralia, IL and the phone number is 533-1400.  For more information on KC’s Welding Program, please contact Professor Kevin Ray at 618-545-3406

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