Sparking a new career; IVCC welding program

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Welding student Nathan Reynolds performs a vertical up gmaw weld. Welding careers are forecasted to be on the rise over the foreseeable future.

Upon walking by the shop on East campus, passers by are greeted by brilliant flashes of blues and whites bouncing off the walls.

These flashes are coming from the craftsmanship of the hardworking women and men who are in training for one of the nation’s most sought after trades, welding. Welding is the process of fusing two materials together.

USA Today reports as of 2008 that there was a lack of a quarter million welders in the United States with those numbers increasing by 15 percent by 2020.

The art of welding is what holds together the world that we know. It holds together the buildings that surround you, the bridges and overpasses that you drive over, the automobiles that you travel in, even the toothpaste tube that you use daily.

There are many different variations and processes of welding. Some will fuse metal, others use ultrasonic waves to fuse plastic, and some even require the use of explosives to fuse multiple kinds of metals.

No matter what kind of welding you may be interested in, Illinois Valley Community College has a program that will help you on your way into the trade.

If your preference would be to work inside a shop where conditions are usually more controlled temperature wise, you might want to consider the certificate or degree that leans towards the production welding.

If you are not afraid of heights or are claustrophobic consider a certificate or degree in construction welding.

Either way, if you are interested you can talk to Paul Leadingham who is the welding coordinator. As a retired Caterpillar welder, Paul is a seasoned tradesman who knows his way around the welding industry.

If you are ready to take the next step towards a new and hot career you can reach Paul at 815-224-0319 or in his office (J102W). Paul will set his students up for their welding classes so a visit with a counselor may not be necessary.

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