Northwest Tech Offering Evening Welding Classes

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Published Sunday, November 12, 2017
by Ben Schears

It won't be long before fall harvest wraps up and folks around the region get a short, but much needed rest from behind the wheel of a combine. As winter weather appears to be easing its way into the area, Northwest Tech has decided to offer evening welding courses for people around the region to learn new skills or sharpen their current welding knowledge.

Starting in January, Northwest Tech will be offering a series of evening welding courses on shielded metal arc welding (SMAW), gas metal arc welding (GMAW), and cutting processes. The classes will meet Tuesday nights from 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm and begin January 9 and running through April 9. The classes will welcome all skill levels - from beginners through experts - and is being taught by skilled instructors with decades of industry experience in both fabrication and pipeline welding.

The cost of the class is $645 and will cover the cost of tuition, fees and metal materials used for the duration of the class. For Kansas high school juniors and seniors age 16 and above, the course will only cost $225 as tuition is covered through the Kansas Excel in CTE program. Equipment needed for the course is a pair of welding gloves and a welding helmet. Payment plans can be made available for individuals looking to take the course through the college business office.

"There is an incredible shortage of skilled welders in our state and nationally," said Northwest Tech President Ben Schears. "Our hope is these classes will inspire someone to pick up a new skilled hobby or in the ideal situation, utilize some of our additional resources to start up their own fabrication shop."

The classes were designed to meet in the evenings to allow working adults and community members to participate. With an evening start time of 6:00 pm, college staff hopes this will encourage community members locally and from surrounding towns to take advantage of the class once they are off work. Space is limited, however, and only 16 people will be able to take the course this time around.

"Over 95% of our current student population at Northwest Tech is under the age of 25 years old. We recognize that we need to do more to offer courses during flexible times to meet the needs and interests of working adults in our area" said Schears. "The welding classes are a great way for us to start providing additional value back to a community that does a great job of supporting us."

To learn more about the classes, contact Welding Instructor Shea Vrbka at (785) 890-1576 or via email at shea.vrbka@nwktc.edu.