LTC giving local students hands-on welding training

October 11, 2007 at 10:53 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Students at Hahnville and Destrehan will get some first-hand experience in the field of multi-process welding and industrial maintenance when Lincoln Electric puts on a demo for the students Nov. 5 at the River Parishes Community College.

At the seminar, high school students in the parishes of St. Charles and St. John will be able to witness and work with some of the new equipment and technology that Lincoln Electric is creating for welding and industrial maintenance. The students will get to tour one of the company's demo trucks, which are outfitted with the latest Lincoln equipment, and will get to use the equipment under the supervision of a Lincoln factory representative. The equipment will include MIG welders, inverters, TIG welders, plasma cutters, engine drives, and wire feeders.

The hope is that this seminar, which is intended for those students who are currently taking welding and industrial maintenance classes at their respective schools, will keep those students interested in a future career in industry.

"Right now, the workforce in both welding and industrial maintenance is depleted," Louisiana Technical College welding instructor Chris Weber said. "Louisiana is short by 73,000 welders right now and we need more students to take an interest."

In fact, since the area is so short of workers, there is a threat of a majority of the welding and maintenance work going overseas. To counteract that, Lincoln, who is one of the industry leaders in the design, development and manufacture of arc welding products and robotic arc-welding systems, has gone to more computerized methods in order to attract younger students.

"Lots of local people are losing out on high paying jobs," Weber said. "There are a lot of people retiring right now and we need to start filling these jobs."

Along with the parish students, faculty and staff members from the college will be on hand throughout the event, which begins at 8 a.m. and last until 5 p.m. There will also be a number of company representatives speaking at the seminar about the financial possibilities of a future career in industry.

Because of the need of workers in the welding and maintenance field, most schools offer students the chance to obtain college credit towards future classes at LTC. Workers in those fields can make as much as $70,000 a year.

View other articles written Jonathan Menard

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