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Meet the Faculty

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Qualified Instructors with real world experience.

Our faculty doesn’t just understand welding – they have years of real-world experience in the trade. They understand the challenges you’ll face and can help you learn the skills you’ll need to succeed. Over the years, they’ve trained hundreds of students, from complete beginners to industry veterans looking to enhance their abilities.

Piedmont Corporate Office

Gene Crook, President, Founder, and CEO

David Crook, COO

Heidi Bray, Executive Vice President

Kyle Davidson, Chief Financial Officer

Amber Gibson, Compliance Officer

Sherrone McCord, Director of Financial Aid

Jonathan Crompton, Master Trainer

Piedmont Main Campus

Jesse Hayes

Jesse Hayes is the Lead Welding Instructor at the Main Campus in Piedmont. Jesse has over eight years of experience in the welding field. He is a certified welder who has worked in the construction, manufacturing, and fabrication industries. In his free time, Jesse enjoys fishing and spending time with his family.

  • Certificate, Welding Instructor, NCCER, 2020
  • Certificate, Core Curricula Instructor, NCCER, 2020
  • Certificate, Pipe Fitting Instructor, NCCER, 2020

Columbia Branch Campus

Steven Crout

Steven Crout is the Lead Welding Instructor at the Columbia Branch Campus. Steven has been in the welding field for over 20 years. In his career, he has worked in welding fabrication and with specialty alloy metals. Steven has welded on projects that range from structural steel to ASME coded piping and pressure vessels. Steven is a current member of the American Welding Society (AWS). In his free time, Steven enjoys drag racing, building race cars, restoring antique tractors and cars and blacksmithing.

  • Certificate, Advanced Pipe Welding, Midlands Technical College, 2019
  • Certificate, Management Skills for Supervisors, American Management Association, 2019
  • Certificate, Metallurgy II, American Welding Society, 2020
  • Certificate, Welding Instructor, NCCER, 2021
  • Certificate, Core Curricula Instructor, NCCER, 2021
  • Certificate, Curriculum Performance Evaluator, 2021

Charleston Branch Campus

Chuck Meek

Chuck Meek is the Lead Welding Instructor at the Charleston Branch Campus. He provides over 25 years of experience to the students of Arclabs. Chuck is a native of Rhode Island and moved to South Carolina in 1993. He has worked in a multitude of various welding environments, which has given him the stable platform for his welding expertise. His journey began in vocational classes offered in high school and mastered stick and flux core welding at Metal Trades in Charleston while building cranes for the State Ports Authority. From there he journeyed around to different companies and landed a major spot at Force Protection building Mine Resistant Ambush Protecting Vehicles for the military. Over the years he has obtained certifications in FCAW, GMAW, GTAW and SMAW in structural and pipe. In addition to basic metals, Chuck has certifications in Aluminum and Inconel as well as Nuclear Welding. When Chuck is not sharing his wisdom with others, he uses his talents to make useful things or metal art.

  • Certificate, Welding Instructor, NCCER, 2017
  • Certificate, Core Curricula Instructor, NCCER, 2017
  • Certificate, Pipefitting Instructor, NCCER, 2017

Houston Branch Campus

Heather Roussere

Heather Roussere is the Lead Welding Instructor at the Houston Branch Campus. Heather has over 15 years of experience in the welding industry, ranging from oil rigs to vessel shops. She has held many leadership roles within the field, such as the Lead Pipe Welder at Surface Equipment Corporation and the Shop Supervisor at Tyler Fence. At a young age, Heather knew she wanted to be a teacher, and she has now been sharing her passion for teaching and welding for the last three years. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her boys, hiking, and surfing.

  • Certificate, OSHA 30-Hours for Construction, 2014
  • Certificate, OSHA 30-Hours for General Industry, 2014
  • Certificate, Welding Instructor, NCCER, 2019
  • Certificate, Core Curricula Instructor, NCCER, 2019
  • Certificate, Pipefitting Instructor, NCCER, 2019

AWS Accredited Test Facility

Steve Wheat

Steve Wheat is the Director of Testing for the AWS Accredited Test Facility. Steve started in the welding industry in 1986 after he got out of the Army. Steve has worked for Thermo Kinetic, Sanders Brothers, and Gloenco. He has trained and certified all types of welders and welding operators and has developed welding procedures and processes for companies. Steve enjoys spending time with his children and grandchildren, working in his garden and riding his Harley.

  • Certificate, Certified Welding Inspector, American Welding Society, 2001
  • Certificate, Certified Welding Educator, American Welding Society, 2002
  • Certificate, Certified Welding Supervisor, American Welding Society, 2008
  • Certificate, Level II PT, American Society for Nondestructive Testing, 2009
  • Certificate, Industrial Welding Instructor, NCCER, 2010
  • Certificate, Pipefitting Instructor, NCCER, 2010
  • Certificate, Core Curricula Instructor, NCCER, 2010