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Applicants sought for UTTC Welding Program
3 July 2012

BISMARCK (UTN) – United Tribes Technical College has signaled a start to its new Welding Technology Program. The college is now accepting applications from potential trainees who want to become skilled and competent welders and compete for jobs in the Northern Plains. “We encourage applicants to submit their forms by the first part of August at the latest,” said Steve Shepherd, UTTC Welding Program Director. Welding was once a popular vocational program at UTTC. The high demand for skilled welders in the region prompted its revival. The program is a Workforce Development Project funded by the U.S. Department of Labor. “This is a career field that’s very much in demand right now,” said Shepherd. “We’re looking for highly-motivated individuals who are self-starters and will make the most of this opportunity.”

Applications Online
The United Tribes program will accept only a limited number of applicants. Twelve students will be selected from those who apply to be in the first group of trainees. The application process is set-up for access online. Program information and application forms are available at the college’s website, www.uttc.edu. Those interested are encouraged to start the application process as soon as possible. An important and time-consuming step is arranging for financial aid from potential funding agencies. The first training session will begin at or near the end of September or early October, said Shepherd. The training course is scheduled to run 16 weeks. “We anticipate a lot of interest in this program,” said Shepherd. “We expect to have a waiting list for the second training session.” Like all educational programs at United Tribes Technical College, the welding program is open to potential trainees of all racial and ethnic backgrounds.

Program is Plugged-In
The UTTC program is based on standards of the American Welding Society. Students will be trained in safe working techniques and practices. The training schedule is Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Underway now is work to renovate and upgrade the college’s former welding facilities in the United Tribes Skill Center. The work is funded by the U. S. Economic Development Administration. “It’ll be state of the art, like one of the best shops in the area,” Shepherd said. The training centerpiece will be several welding simulators that shorten the learning curve and dramatically improve welding skills. The simulators will serve as a lead into hands-on training in welding processes commonly in use today: stick, flux core, mig, tig and oxy/acetylene. Those who excel will move to more advanced techniques. Classes will be taught by Shepherd (Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate), who has 17 years experience as a welder and union member, and Robert Leingang, formerly an instructor with the Bismarck State College welding program.

After completing the course, students have an opportunity to apply for an apprenticeship with one of the building trades unions. Welders are needed in the United Association of Pipefitters, the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, and the International Association of Ironworkers, said Shepherd. “Getting them trained is the goal, whether it’s for the oil patch or into one of the local unions, or going to a manufacturing plant,” he said. “Whatever they plan to do, they’ll get the proper fundamental training here.” The program will also include placement services in a field of the student’s choice.

For more information please contact Jackie Benson 701-255-3285 x1447, jbenson@uttc.edu or Steve Shepherd 701-255-3285 x1537, sshepherd@uttc.edu; or apply online at www.uttc.edu.

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