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Fusing the needs of employers and workers

By Staff | Feb 19, 2012

Sparks fly as a welder finishes a project.

A welding training course has started at Blue Earth Area High School with all 12 slots available in the class being filled.

The program is taught by Minnesota West Community and Technical College and was brought to the area by the Faribault County Development Corporation and the Workforce Center in Fairmont.

“We worked with Linsey (Warmka of the Faribault County Development Corporation) and local employers and discovered there was a need for welders in the area,” says Connie Hines of the Workforce Center. “We then coordinated the training with the school, and it was a good fit.”

Dennis Long is instructing the program and says there is a good chance jobs will be available for those completing the course.

“There is a lot of demand right now for welders,” he says. “I just finished a class north of the Cities and we had 200 jobs available for 12 people after they finished the program.”

Curriculum for the class includes a variety of welding principles and safety considerations. After completing the program, participants will be able to view a blueprint, interpret it, determine types of welds and perform entry level welding functions.

“We spend about 80 percent of our time doing work-specific training and 20 percent of our time in the classroom,” Long says. “It is a lot of hands on work. In the classroom, we focus on blueprint reading because there is a high demand for that right now.”

The class is very intense. A total of 120 hours make up the course work with individual sessions running from 1:30 to 7:30 p.m. Courses run from Monday through Thursday and will last five weeks.

To see more of this article, see this week’s Register