RCBI and UTC Team Up to Offer Welding Training
CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – With welders reported in critically short supply nationwide, the Robert C. Byrd Institute for Advanced Flexible Manufacturing (RCBI) and United Technical Center (UTC) are teaming up to offer new welding training here.
Under a Memorandum of Understanding to be signed at UTC in a public ceremony set for 1:30 p.m. October 13, RCBI will supply an instructor and enroll students for the training, while UTC will provide the necessary equipment and facilities.
Director and CEO Charlotte Weber will sign the agreement for RCBI. Director Joan Smith will sign for UTC.
Plans call for a 16-week course starting Jan. 4, 2010, at UTC, located north of Clarksburg on U.S. 19 behind the Alternative Learning Center (formerly Gore Middle School). The class will meet from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Enrollment will be limited to no more than 15 students. Financial assistance will be available for those who qualify.
The instructor, Eric Younkins, holds two associate degrees from West Virginia University-Parkersburg, one in welding technology and one in welding management. He has six years of experience instructing at UTC.
“This is a great opportunity for a young person or displaced worker to get the training needed for a new career in welding,” Weber said. “There’s a nationwide shortage of welders. Companies simply can’t find enough of them. The American Welding Society, an industry group, predicts that by 2014 the nation’s demand for skilled welders may outstrip supply by as many as 400,000 workers. So, the jobs are out there – waiting for those who prepare for them.”
RCBI’s welding training is designed to deliver skills that an individual needs to be a successful welder in industry. The course can be taken independently to prepare the student for state certification or as part of RCBI’s comprehensive welding program which includes TIG, MIG and Stick welding, as well as flux-cored arc welding (FCAW). This is accomplished through a hands-on approach and intensive student-teacher interaction.
“The best way to learn to weld is by actually welding,” said Weber. “This is why the focus is put on work done out of the classroom and in the shop. Our aim is to provide new welders with a firm foundation to gain certification and thrive in the field.”
The mission of United Technical Center is to provide technical and related instruction which allows its students to achieve to their highest potential and succeed in life and work in the 21st Century. The philosophy of United Technical Center reflects a cooperative effort between the schools, business/industry and the community in order to prepare the secondary and post-secondary student with the necessary skills to meet the demands of an ever-changing job market.
RCBI provides access to cutting edge technology and technical training to manufacturers across the region. Operating from Advanced Manufacturing Technology Centers in Huntington, South Charleston, Bridgeport and Rocket Center (near Keyser in West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle), its mission includes developing a quality, just-in-time supplier base for the Department of Defense, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the commercial sector.