Welding Classes for Canam Point of Rocks
March 1, 2012
The Point of Rocks plant has been working with Frederick Community College and the Frederick County Workforce Development Group in an effort to design a program geared to alleviate the shortage of qualified welders in the area. The program consists of an 80-hour non-credit training class providing individuals an opportunity to learn welding skills including: shielded metal arc welding (SMAW), gas metal arc welding (GMAW), and flux-cored arc welding (FCAW); skills needed for the bridge and structural shops.
Those enrolled in the program may be eligible for scholarships or grants through the Workforce Development Group. On October 25, a group of approximately 60 people who were interested in the program visited the plant to learn about Canam, the training class, and the scholarship and grant opportunities. A tour of the plant was provided followed by a pre-screening process with shop supervisors to determine who would be a good fit for the program and Canam if hired; only those individuals who met supervisors’ criteria were eligible for the program.
Twelve students met Canam’s criteria and were enrolled in the first class that began last November. Three students were hired, two individuals have gone on to take additional classes to increase their skills at the college, and 5 others were interviewed to see where they might fit into the plant.
Attending the class is not a guarantee of employment but an opportunity to learn a new skill for those in our community who are currently unemployed. The program is a win-win situation for all involved. The new skills learned will provide an opportunity for those unemployed to get back into the workforce, offer Canam a flow of qualified applicants, as well as reduce the time and cost of training when an applicant is hired.
The next class is projected to begin later this year.