Education forms the foundation of the welding industry, and never has the need for education been more critical than in the face of the ever-growing, oft-debated skills gap. Now, the people of Pewaukee, Wisconsin who are considering welding as a potential career path have access to free afternoon and evening welding classes from Aug. 26 to Dec. 22. A U.S. Department of Labor grant is paying for the classes offered through the Workforce Development Center of Waukesha County Technical College.
The center decided to start offering free welding courses after the success of a similar program at the Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC) in late May. MATC’s success, coupled with the shortage of highly skilled workers available to local companies, inspired Waukesha College to form a free welding program of their own.
The federally subsidized courses help establish new welders in industry critical areas. However, the classes are only the first step. It’s important to remember that the skills gap isn’t just a lack of available workers; it’s a lack of workers with specific skills. Therefore, it’s critical to take advantage of learning opportunities, such as free welding classes, even after you’ve mastered basics skills. By advancing your welding career you are not only improving your own job prospects and paycheck, you’re also helping the industry fill the detrimental gap in skilled labor. That’s why AWS not only encourages potential welders to take advantage of programs like the one being offered in Wisconsin, but to also use these courses as a cost effective means of pursuing your welding career through specialization.
Anyone interested in Waukesha College’s classes must be at least 18 and have a high school diploma, or equivalent, by the start of training. Prospective students must also have at least an eighth-grade math and reading level, be able to pass a drug screening, and have, or be eligible for, a valid driver’s license. Although these courses are contingent on grant money, the school intends to offer them as long as there is demand.
There are openings for 18 students, and potential applicants should call Marissa Keller, WOW Workforce Program Services Assistant, at (262) 695-8044 for more information. Students seeking similar opportunities should contact their local AWS Section.
AWS Learning: If you’re already involved in the welding industry and are looking for more ways to expand you’re welding career, check out our other blogs, podcasts, virtual conferences, online courses, and digital tools designed to help you grow and succeed.
4 thoughts on “City Seeks To Close Local Skills Gap with Free Welding Classes”
This is a very good thing to see, but it’s difficult for me because I’m currently in southern illinois working in standard production, finally moved into welding, I’m trying to find out how to advance my skills in this location, and would like more info about classes and certification. I’m 29 years old and hard of hearing, got my basic welder cert when I was 18. Is there anything like this program I can find in springfield or jacksonville il?
Check with the AWS Section in your area. I think the one serving Springfield is in Decatur: http://www.awssection.org/sangamonvalley/
I liked the idea but I am from Algeria. Is there a solution so that you can Affiliate
I’ve got a large welding experience
But I want to develop my skills and I want to work in America
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