Video "Improving their competitive edge: Students in Welding". Watch as students share how they became involved in welding and describe their welding experiences. Pays starts $20 an hour.
- On June 9, President Obama hosted an event at the Northern Virginia Community College Campus with The Manufacturing Institute and the National Association of Manufacturers to discuss major steps that should be taken to build an educated and skilled workforce of manufacturers who are crucial to the economic future of the United States.
- The President stressed the importance of strong partnerships between manufacturers and community colleges to make Manufacturing Skills Certifications, or learning standards, more readily available. He also announced the goal of providing 500,000 more skilled workers for the manufacturing industry within the next five years.
Jay Leno video encourages everyone to learn a new skill: Welding.
The Weld-Ed National Center for Welding Education and Training is striving to revive a focus on welding.
Weld-Ed is a national partnership of colleges, universities, professional societies and private industry, including the American Welding Society. The goal of Weld-Ed is to increase the number of welding technicians to meet the demands of the workforce, improve education in welding technology for the associate degree, and promote and improve professional development for welding educators.
In the 2009/2010 academic year, the Weld-Ed partner schools educated 4,120 welding technicians. "It is one thing to learn a skill, but it is another thing to achieve the certification which validates the skill," said Shook.
The Weld-Ed Center, located at Lorain County Community College in Elyria, Ohio, is part of the National Science Foundation- (NSF) funded Advanced Technological Education (ATE) Program, which "focuses on the education of technicians for the high-technology fields that drive our nation's economy."
Weld-Ed also has nine additional community college and university partners, including Chattanooga State Technical Community College, Honolulu Community College, Illinois Central College, North Dakota State College of Science, Pennsylvania College of Technology, Texas State Technical College (Texas), Yuba College (Calif.), The Ohio State University and Weber State University (Utah).
Ultimately, Weld-Ed stands out as a program that creates a bridge between educational institutions and the welding industry. State-of-the-art welding labs and new classrooms offer resources for learning skills that are directly transferable to industrial jobs. Weld-Ed also focuses on recruiting and educating welding technicians familiar with the current and future needs of the industry.
As observed by Lorain Community College, "AWS as an advocate for the welding industry gives Weld-Ed the opportunity to be challenged by real industry issues. This high level of collaboration with the industry, educational institutions and AWS has been the most pleasant surprise."
Welders are essential to industries that underpin the economy, including the automotive, shipbuilding, aerospace, mining, petrochemical extraction and refining industries; and the defense and energy sectors.
Today, career opportunitiesfor welders are increasing. Even in an economy where recent graduates in various disciplines struggle to find work, virtually 100 percent of welding school graduates find rapid job placement, according to Shook.
"A need for quality welding is definitely an issue in 2011, and it goes beyond economic concerns in the areas of public safety and fitness-for-service," said Shook. "While economy is always an issue in manufactured products, it is often surpassed by safety concerns in one-of-a-kind constructions.
We are bound by our collective conscience to ensure that public structures such as buildings, roads and bridges will perform as intended, and welding plays a big role in making sure that happens."
For more information and resources about Weld-Ed and the welding industry, including free magazines and DVDs on welding and welding careers, contact the American Welding Society.
American Welding Society Job Board Site: http://www.jobsinwelding.com/
American Welding Society/Weld-Ed Career Web site: www.careersinwelding.com