With all the concern about unemployment these days, it can be easy to notice some fields are crying for additional workers.
Because several local construction and manufacturing businesses are in need of skilled welders, they have teamed up to create a free 172-hour welding instruction program to be offered next month.
“We got requests from businesses within the Redwood area,” said Pat Thomas, Adult Basic Education (ABE) coordinator based in Marshall.“They expressed a need for more people with welding skills.”
With training in welding, workers can find jobs in manufacturing, construction, and maintenance.
Classes are scheduled for six and a half 5-day weeks. Certification and assistance with job search are included with the training. Up to 12 applicants can be accepted for this session of classes.
The first two weeks will be set in the Redwood Valley High School, and will focus on computer skills, math, and blueprint reading.
“Before you can weld, you need to know how to read blueprints, and know all the terminology,” said Thomas.
After that, Minnesota West Community and Technical college will bring in a welding truck to hold classes at the Redwood Falls airport.
Thomas emphasized that “if there wasn’t a need for a workers of this sort, the state wouldn’t have funded (this class).”
The classes are were created by three regional organizations: Minnesota West Community and Technical College, Adult Basic Education, and the Southwest Minnesota Private Industry Council.
In addition, NU-Tel is set to provide Internet access once the classes move out to the airport.
“The Redwood Falls airport is a fantastic training site for a class like this,” said Thomas. “It really is a lovely facility.”
Local businesses have also expressed an interest in meeting with the students once they are actually learning at welding stations at the airport.
The class is funded with a grand from the Minnesota Skills Job Partnership for lower income workers.
An informational meeting will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 20 from 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. at Gilwood Haven, 219 S. Mill Street, in Redwood Falls.
Please bring records for six months of past income to determine eligibility.
For more information, contact Sara Karbo at 507-537-6236, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.