What's Now: Sparking Skill

What's Now: Sparking Skill

Spring 2015

| By: Britten, Casey

Start today for a high-demand career in welding.

Through a grant, Fox Valley Technical College is working with area high schools to encourage their students to consider high-demand careers in welding. “We always research where the region’s career needs are,” says Brandon Goerg, welding instructor at FVTC. “We discovered that by 2020, there will be a critical shortage of welders.”

To inspire high school students to pursue a career in welding, Goerg is helping area schools put together train-the-trainer programs. “We want to provide college-level classes so students can really learn about professional welding and receive college credit,” states Goerg. “To do this, we needed to teach their instructors how to deliver our program. We soon realized that the best thing to do is simply have them take the same course we teach our students.”

Paul Lindberg, a teacher in the ATECH program at Appleton West High School and a student in Goerg’s first class, found that taking the class was a perfect solution. “I completely understand when my students have the same struggles I experienced,” he says. “And, they believe me when I say good welding really is a rewarding, critical skill.”

Goerg feels that getting students interested in welding during high school is a win-win proposition. “High school students who already have some college credits are more apt to go on to college after graduation,” he notes. “It is all about supplying students with the right skills and preparing them for good-paying careers.”

FVTC’s partnership with ATECH jumpstarts high school students toward successful careers in advanced manufacturing like industrial technology, welding, machining, automation, and mechanical design.

Welding Success

91% job placement for graduates of FVTC’s welding programs over the past two years.
FVTC’s Graduate Employment Research Reports, 2013 & 2014

6 high schools currently partnering with FVTC under the grant-funded project: Appleton East, Appleton North, Appleton West, Kimberly, Menasha, and Omro.

350+ full-time, regional job postings for professional welders in 2014.
FVTC’s Employment Connections department and Wisconsin TechConnect