First Welding Training Program Graduates Ready for Emerging Jobs

      The first students from the Welder Training program offered at Community College of Beaver County through local partnerships recently received their certifications in welder and welder’s helper and are prepared for emerging jobs in the oil, gas, manufacturing and additional industries.

      The partnership includes funding and support from Southwest Corner Workforce Investment Board, PA CareerLink® Beaver County, and Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Adult and Dislocated Worker funding support administered locally by Job Training for Beaver County, Inc. (JTBC).

      Students certified in Welder Training include Mohammed Abed, James Boyce, Brandon Donoso, Brodie Gillespie, Phil Liebmann, Clayton Miller, Shawn Moore, and Chris Veon. Students certified in Welder’s Helper include Joshua Chaffee, Ryan Greene, and Michael O’Dowd.

      Due to employers’ input for curriculum, students are equipped with the in-demand job skills required in the career field. Discussions with local employers also led to the rigorous screening process of candidates, which included assessment testing and background checks. 

      “Employers participated in putting this program together,” says John Goberish, Dean, Workforce and Continuing Education at CCBC. “We are receiving positive feedback from employers on the training and job prospects for our students.”

      The College is recognized as a certified training provider through the ShaleNET grant, which is administered through Westmoreland County Community College in Pennsylvania. Since the College is approved to conduct training for this 3-year U.S. Department of Labor grant, five training programs developed by grant funding could be offered. Due to current job trends in the area and discussions with local employers, the College chose to offer Welder’s Helper training.

      JTBC Executive Director Deborah Newton notes, “The conversations with employers led to an expanded curriculum, requiring leveraging of additional grant dollars that included ShaleNet, WIA Adult-Dislocated Worker and Youth Funds, and veteran funds supported by the GI Bill.”

      Students began the Welding Training with an Oil and Gas Emphasis program in May and received Welder’s Helper training under the ShaleNET grant with 80 hours of additional welding training supported through WIA Adult and Dislocated Worker funds.  In addition to welding instruction, the program consisted of the following training: 16 hours of downhill weld, spill/fall prevention, rough terrain forklift, aerial lift boom, and 10-Hour SafeLand as well as CPR/first aid certification.

      “The students recognized that training for in-demand job skills would be very beneficial in their job search, making them more marketable with area employers,” says Netwon.

      Due to the training and partnerships, the 11 graduates are ready for careers in the emerging welding, gas and oil industry and will receive job placement assistance through CareerLink® Beaver County and Job Training for Beaver County, Inc.