Launch New Careers at Onaway Institute of Industrial Arts
“Welding can kind of take you anywhere you want to go. Sky is the limit.”
the Institute of Industrial Arts at Onaway is a unique trade school specializing in welding.
“Our philosophy here is noble workmanship. We prepare them for what to expect and what employers want when they come into the industry,” says Tammi Ward.
Tammi Ward is the Executive Director of Institute of Industrial Arts and has been part of the team since 2014.
And she strives to make the program really feel like work.
Tammi says, “It’s a 19-week program and we treat it like a job. This is called an employer model. They clock in at 7:45 a.m., ready to go to work at 8 a.m., they have some lecture time where they focus on learning how to weld, then we head straight to the lab and it’s hands-on welding fabrication for the rest of the day.
“They try to prepare us as much as possible for the job, which I appreciate. I’ve only ever had one job,” explains Albert Mosely, a student.
Their students are currently between 17 and over 50 years old.
And as students like Albert Mosley have learned, experience isn’t necessary…
He shares: “When I started, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I didn’t even know welding was a real thing until I came here.
Quickly discover a new career path….
“I knew I didn’t want to go to college. I knew I wanted to do something practical.
And that’s exactly what IAI provides–
Individual and practical experience.
Ward tells us, “Our instructors are not teachers. They are industry experts learning to teach. And they bring that body of knowledge about what it’s really like to work.
IAI ensures students are in safe hands–
With welding instructors who are professionals in the trade.
“I became a Certified Welding Inspector 7 years ago,” says Welding Instructor Jeff Brown.
Like Jeff Brown, whose journey includes nearly 30 years of making.
He says, “It’s exciting, especially for those who have never welded before. And you see some of them now sticking out, and I think that’s really rewarding.
But welding and fabrication aren’t the only things IAI offers its students on the road to success…
Albert says: “They help us develop our skills to get into places, interviews. They help us with interviews so that we don’t look so nervous, so that we know how to hold ourselves properly when talking to someone, how to express our voice is a little… It’s really worth it.