The Minnesota River Valley Education District Alternative Learning Center (MRVED ALC) in partnership with the Southwest Minnesota Private Industry Council (PIC) and Minnesota West Community and Technical College (MnWest) have provided ten youth ages 16-20 to complete the welding certificate program at MnWest.

 

The Minnesota River Valley Education District Alternative Learning Center (MRVED ALC) in partnership with the Southwest Minnesota Private Industry Council (PIC) and Minnesota West Community and Technical College (MnWest) have provided ten youth ages 16-20 to complete the welding certificate program at MnWest. The Welding Certificate consists of technical courses designed to develop skills in welding processes common to industry.  Areas of study include: blueprint reading, shop math, metallurgy, shielded metal arc welding (SMAW or Stick), gas metal arc welding (GMAW or MIG), gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW or TIG), oxyacetylene and plasma arc cutting.

Nine students participated in MnWest’s graduation ceremoney on May 15th 2019, to receive their 16 credit welding certificate; three of the ten students will be graduating with highest honors and two of the ten received  honors.

The course started in August and will conclude on May 30th. In this class, in addition to the technical skills learned students have particapated in work-based learning (WBL) activities provided by the PIC through a series of WBL activities, career focused activities and workplace experiences including a business tour at Action Manufacturing (Marshall).

Once class concludes, three students will be returning to the MRVED ALC, in Montevideo, to finish their high school career next fall and scheduled to graduate in December of 2019. There are six students who are looking to work as welders in the area while two of those students plan to continue their education next Fall in Jackson to obtain their Welding Diploma.

Many of the students shared some proud moments at the conclustion of class. One young man explained that his involvment in the Welding Certificate program allowed me “to learn to be more attentive and has grown in his work ethic”. Another students is “excited to talk to tell their peers and other students” about the class. Lastly, another young lady shared that she is proud to be the first of her family to graduate college- before she even earned her high school diploma.   

PIC provided Career Pathway Navigators whose role it is to support the students during the courses to be proactive about their success in the end. Ongoing support is a vital component for participants. Many are entering the workforce for the first time, some have had unsuccessful attempts at jobs, others may be reaching beyond what they have ever considered possible for themselves before. For this reason, the Navigators are available on an ongoing basis to provide a connection, encouragement, and/or to serve as a general resource. In addition, the Career Pathway Navigators job is to work towards connecting these students to local job opportunities with local employers.

MN West provides the instructor and curriculum for the Welding Certificate program. During this course, courses were held on location of MN West Granite Falls campus. MN West works very closely with PIC to ensure students are successful from inception to the end. MN West provides in-kind meeting space, equipment, and access to labs.

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