Mineral Area College is launching a new 20-week welding program May 2. As a short-term certificate program, it is not eligible for college credit, but students may still be eligible for tuition assistance through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).
Principles and Applications of Welding Technology is a comprehensive program that will train students to weld to nationally-recognized American Welding Society (AWS) standards in the four common processes: Gas Metal Arc Welding, Flux-Cored Arc Welding, Shielded Metal Arc Welding, and Gas Tungsten Arc Welding. The 504-hour course will also cover foundational welding knowledge and cutting and fabrication.
Pam Watkins, director of MAC Continuing Education, said the program was developed in response to an employer survey indicating an average of 160 employees with welding skills are needed annually by employers in our service area. The two largest employers are Lee Mechanical Contractors in Park Hills and Holcim Lafarge in Bloomsdale. Bulk Tank in Park Hills, as well as many smaller fabrication shops and maintenance departments, are also on the lookout for precision welders.
“This course will provide a strong foundation for students to launch a career in welding where they can use their skills and gain the experience needed to attain AWS certification,” said Nate Ellett, MAC welding instructor. “The more experience and AWS certifications that welders gain, the more doors that are open to them for significant wages in our region and beyond.”
Classes will be held in the William Dickerson Welding Technology Center, a new 4,800 sq. ft. building located off College Road on the college’s Park Hills Campus. The building was partially funded through a Workforce Training Initiative, which combines a Community Block Development Grant (CDBG) and Neighborhood Assistance Program (NAP) Tax Credits from the State of Missouri. It was named in memory of long-time Lee Mechanical Contractors, Inc. employee Bill Dickerson.
AWS Certified Welder Nate Ellett will be teaching the course. He comes to MAC with over 20 years of professional experience as a millwright and welder, working at a wide variety of industrial sites throughout the Midwest and Midsouth.
Classes will meet 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday, and from 8 a.m.-noon for six Fridays, beginning May 2 through Sept. 15. The course will be taught as five four-week modules with a different welding technique or content area concentration for each module. Seating is limited to 12 students.
Visit www.MineralArea.edu/Welding for more details. To register or to learn more about tuition assistance, contact Pam Watkins at Mineral Area College by phone at 573-518-2280 or by email at ContinuingEd@MineralArea.edu.