June 18, 2014
A collaborative job training initiative aimed at addressing a shortage of qualified welders will launch this summer in four regions of Wisconsin after receiving funding from the state and welding industry leaders.
Miller Electric Mfg. Co., Appleton, Wis., has joined with area employers, manufacturing alliances, technical colleges, workforce development boards, and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin (HCCW) to spearhead the initiative, with the goal of training 120 qualified welders in the program’s first 12 months. The initiative will produce accredited, job-ready welders through a rigorous prescreening process and life skills training, in addition to traditional welding training and mentored trainee support.
The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development has given $400,000 to the program. Illinois Tool Works Inc. (ITW), the parent company of Miller, is providing $400,000 in matching funds, and the American Welding Society (AWS) Foundation has committed $220,000 in grant funding.
The four participating technical colleges serve the regions of Appleton/Fox Valley, Green Bay, Wausau, and Milwaukee, with the training tailored to meet the specific needs identified by employers in each region.