While Brie Jenkins, a welder from the Ozarks, made front page news when she won second place in the American Welding Society’s Oktoberfest held in Springfield, none of her classmates were surprised. In fact, they were so impressed with her work that they urged her to enter the competition in the first place. Jenkins is called a “natural” welder by her instructors at Ozark Technical College.
Jenkins grew up on a farm and spent a good deal of time around her father and grandfather who welded as part of their custom structural steel company. That sparked her interest in welding and set her on a course to study welding technology as well as drafting and design at OTC.
“When I came to OTC, I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but I knew I wanted to do something with my hands,” she said.
As Jenkins advanced through the program, word spread about her talent and the Paul Mueller Company hired her part-time as a machine shop welder while she continues going to school. She specializes in stainless steel TIG welding but also dreams of one day purchasing her own farm.
Trident Technical College Expands to Meet Industry Demands: “Trident Technical College’s efforts to sculpt a local workforce to fill the ranks in the state’s burgeoning aeronautical marketplace is set to climb to another level.
The college is planning to build a $79 million aeronautical training center at its North Charleston campus. The 215,000-square-foot space would help train workers for the aeronautical cluster in the region and state, including Boeing South Carolina and its suppliers and vendors, officials said.”
Canadian Construction Companies Struggle to Find Welders: “Mark Cooper, the president of SCA, was at the Lloydminster Construction Association Office last week, speaking with the association’s board of directors about the challenges the industry is facing.
‘I think that it’s nothing surprising, a lot of markets in the Lloydminster construction field are facing labour market shortages,’ said Cooper. ‘In terms of recruiting good, skilled, experienced workers and if they do recruit them, it becomes an issue to find them a place to live, and finding them a doctor.’ Cooper said the other challenge currently facing the construction industry within Lloydminster is safety at the job site. ”
Welding Jobs Among Job Growth in Minnesota: “Thirty-one businesses announced expansions in the third quarter — news that is expected to create 1,500 jobs in ‘coming years,’ according to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. The news will have a definite impact on the state’s market for office space. Sixteen of the projects are located in the Twin Cities metro area, while 15 businesses expanded outstate.”
Welder Shares What He Loves About His Work: “I enjoy the diversity of tasks in my job. I never know what I’m going to be doing on any given day. I like solving problems, no matter whose problem it is. The biggest thing that drives me is my willingness to work on anything. And my advice to others is to find something you enjoy and the rewards will come. I like being needed.”
Michigan Company Offers Welding Training to Veterans and Unemployed: “The Merrill Institute is offering an American Welding Society accredited training course for veterans and certain unemployed people who live in the Saginaw area. The 10-week course is open only to residents of the following zip codes: 48601, 48602, 48603, 48604, 48623, 48722, 48724. The course starts Feb. 3, running from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, at Merrill Fabricators, in Alma.”
Ohio Welding Program Makes Progress: “With more than 90 high school students involved in the welding and material joining program at the Columbiana County Career and Technical Center, the board on Tuesday was given an overview of the program.
Michelle Fitzsimmons, instructor of the material joining program, updated the board on how the pilot year of the program went and what is being covered by the students. Although some of the projects are taking longer than projected by students, who only study material joining for part of the day, she still believes students are learning some of the important functions of thinking for themselves.”
Cynthia Harris Breaks the Mold as Welding Instructor in Mississippi: “Durand Payton, director of Moss Point’s Career & Technology Center, said the school district has a goal to have more girls in classes such as welding, carpentry, electrical work and boys in health science classes, and Harris is leading the charge in many ways.
‘She’s a female welding instructor. You don’t see those every day,’ Payton said. ‘She’s very passionate about her program. She’s very business oriented and a go-getter. She’s not afraid to get dirty.’”
WEMCO Annual Meeting: The WEMCO Annual Meeting will be on February 20th-22nd, 2014at The Vinoy® Renaissance Resort & Golf Club in St. Petersburg, FL.
Welding Gone Wrong
Ohio Farmer Sparks Blaze in Barn While Welding: “A farmer doing some welding in his barn may have sparked a fire that left the structure heavily damaged Tuesday morning. The barn fire was reported just before 11:30 a.m. in the 14000 block of Ohio 127 on the northern edge of Northstar.”
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