The National Center for Welding Education and Training (Weld-Ed) has launched its new Mobile Welder Training Center—a 48-foot self-contained trailer equipped with eight state-of-the-art welding stations.
At a recent unveiling of the Weld-Ed mobile center, Monica Pfarr, Corporate Director of Workforce Development for American Welding Society and Principle Investigator for Weld-Ed, stated that there will be a need for 350,000 skilled welders by 2024. This number encompasses welders across all manufacturing industries, which includes automotive structural repair welders.
While there is certainly a need for new automotive welding technicians, many existing welders do not have the proper training. According to I-CAR, 69 percent of body shop welding technicians lack formal welding training.
To address the growing need for welders across multiple disciplines and to increase the quality of welders, Weld-Ed’s mobile station offers customized training that is tailored to the company’s (shop’s) specific equipment, systems and operation.
"The mobile component will enable us to take our MIG, precision TIG, stick welding, pipe welding, orbital TIG training—and a host of other training—on the road to provide customized training support where and when the company requires it," says Duncan Estep, Center Director for Weld-Ed.
With small classes and more personal one-on-one attention, the mobile center training boosts welder proficiency, enhances problem-solving skills and improves overall on-the-job work quality without the costly expenses traditionally associated with off-site training. Since it is a traveling center, scheduling is very flexible. The company or business utilizing the center chooses its own training schedule—mornings, afternoons, evenings or weekends.
Located in Lorain, Ohio, Weld-Ed works closely with partners to provide comprehensive professional development, curriculum enhancement and technical assistance to high school, community college and university welding technology programs and faculty across the country.
Estep states, “Our primary goal is to increase the quality and quantity of welding technicians.” To achieve their goal, Weld-Ed defined a number of learning objectives that determined the skillset that was required of a welding technician pertaining to four core areas: metallurgy, cutting and joining processes, safety and automation, and weld quality. Estep explains, “We initially developed four cornerstone courses for welding instructors to give them the skill to teach in these areas. We later added two more courses in laser welding and teaching fundamentals. As a result, we have trained nearly 600 Welding Instructors from 40 states including Alaska and Hawaii. The number of students impacted is over 30,000.”
Now Weld-Ed has expanded their mission to individual training for welders with their mobile center.
Shops interested in learning more about the Mobile Welder Training Center can visit the website at www.WeldEdTraining.com.