Workforce Initiative prepares for next session

Posted On: August 22, 2013

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NEW BREMEN – The West Central Ohio Workforce Development Initiative will be offering a 5th session of the welding course. Due to continued demand, the WCOWDI will be offering two evening courses beginning on September 9 & September 16. Each course is 90 hours, from 6 p.m.-9:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday on alternating weeks. “Due to school being back in session, we only have access to the welding booths during the evening. It was necessary for us to be creative in our schedule planning, so that we could accommodate the needs of those seeking to improve their skillset,” said Angela Hamberg, a partner of the WCOWDI.

The classes are held at Tri Star Career Compact, Dennings building in St. Marys. At the end of the 90-hour welding course, a certificate is awarded to candidates who successfully completed the classroom instruction and applications.

The welding certification has provided financial benefit for many of the candidates who have went through the program. Eighty percent of the underemployed candidates have acquired better paying positions with the newly attained skillset. Many of the incumbent workers, who have been sponsored by their employer, have also seen financial benefit from the newly attained skill by being qualified to apply for other positions within the company.

In July of 2011, a group of area manufacturing leaders, colleges, career centers, high school officials and local resources had joined together to implement a plan to improve the skillset and qualifications of workers in the manufacturing sector. It is the goal of this workforce development effort to make visible the varied types of training that are available to the community and where possible, bring manufacturing training to the local area. Through this effort, a talent pool of qualified employees can be developed that will assist our communities and ensure a stronger economy.

Through discussions with manufacturing businesses, welding was identified as one of the most in-demand skills in the region. For this reason, the partners of the WCOWDI developed a program that met the basic skills of the trade. Thanks to participating companies and organizations like Parker-Hannafin, The Minster Machine Company, Crown Equipment Corporation, Precision Reflex, Vectren, New Bremen Community Improvement Corporation and Mercer County Development, scholarships are available for candidates who qualify.

For more information about courses available through the WCOWDI, contact Angela Hamberg, Economic Development Director, Village of New Bremen via phone (419-629-2447) or email wdi@hometownopportunity.com.