NCMC and Institute of Industrial Arts launch new welding program



North Central Michigan College and Onaway’s Industrial Arts Institute, Inc. announced a new associate degree program at North Central in welding starting in January 2017.

Students enrolled in the program will receive general education and part of the technical skills courses through North Central, with the remaining technical skills courses being completed under an agreement with the Industrial Arts Institute.

“This is an excellent example of collaboration between higher education and the skilled trades to ensure continuity between cultures. The result will be prosperity for our co-funded students. They now have the ability to grow with their education rather than being limited by it. Our region has taken a big step forward with this initiative and our residents will quickly realize the value and benefit from this collaboration, ”said Tom Moran, Owner and Founder of the Industrial Arts Institute.

The employment of welders, cutters, welders and brazers is expected to increase by 4% from 2014 to 2024, and reflects the need for welders in manufacturing due to the importance and versatility of welding as a manufacturing process, according to a press release from the college. Basic welding skills are similar across all industries, so welders can easily move from industry to industry, depending on where they’re needed most. For example, welders in the automotive industry can find work in the oil and gas industry.

The country’s aging infrastructure will require the expertise of welders, cutters, welders and braziers to help rebuild bridges, highways and buildings. The construction of new power generation facilities and, in particular, pipelines transporting natural gas and oil will also create new jobs.

“A skilled workforce is essential for the growth of manufacturing in northern Michigan,” said Dr. Peter Olson, vice president of academic affairs and student success at the college. “We started working with employers in our region in 2014 with the creation of our CNC (Computer Numerical Controls) program through our mobile manufacturing lab. This program continues to grow and expand, and the welding program will add another training opportunity for individuals in our community to find new careers in our area.

The AAS Welding Diploma can be completed in four semesters if you are attending full-time. For more information on the welding portion of the program, contact Tammi Ward, Operations and Student Services Manager at (989) 733-4369.

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