McHenry County is one of the fastest-growing manufacturing sectors in the region, and many of those manufacturers use heavy-duty metal fabrication and forging. Consequently, workers with welding skills are in high demand in the county’s manufacturing sector, which encompasses a variety of occupations such as welders, machinery repair, and sheet metal workers.
“Recently, we pulled the numbers and there were 529 job searches related to welding in the area,” said Bob Mihelich, AIA, NCARB, and Chair of Applied Technology programming at McHenry County College.
To support the burgeoning demand for welding-related skills, Mihelich said MCC is initiating a new for-credit welding certificate program beginning Jan. 20, 2019.
“The program is based on industry need, and we’re responding to that,” said Mihelich. “It’s a certification specializing in one of three major areas of welding we have to offer. We’re in tune with area employers. They look to us as a quality institutiton to provide in-demand training. Additionally, we have the ability to help small- and mid-sized manufacturers who may not be able to devote specific training time to this skill.”
MCC’s Welding Technician Certificate prepares students for an entry-level career in welding. With a Welding Technician Certificate, students become knowledgeable in welding safety and practice the major welding processes such as stick, Metal Inert Gas (MIG) welding and Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG). They also learn to perform out-of-position and multi-pass steel and aluminum welds. Students can continue their studies through MCC to earn an Advanced Welding Technician Certificate.
“In addition to working toward a certificate, all this coursework can be stacked into further credentials,” Mihelich said. “Right now, they’re two stand-alone certificates, but we’re also looking to incorporating them into an associate’s degree.”
For more information about MCC’s Welding Technician Certificate program, call Lori Smyth, MCC’s Fast Track coordinator, at (815) 479-7831.
McHenry County College, 8900 U.S. Hwy 14, Crystal Lake, Illinois 60012-2761