CHAMPION, Ohio (WKBN) – Students are beginning to pursue careers in the trades, rather than traditionally attending college after graduation.
The biggest beneficiary in the turn of the tides is welding, which has become extremely popular.
The Trumbull County Career and Technical Center has the tools to train the next group of welders.
“Some of them actually see the job placement. I think most of them like working with their hands and get excited about what they can create,” said Bob Olesky, TCTC’s welding coordinator.
It takes an enormous amount of heat to weld. The type you see most often is when a stick is used, which throws off an arc or an electrically-generated source of heat.
Welders help design, engineer, build and troubleshoot complex manufacturing solutions. They’re taught how to interpret blueprints and specifications using math and critical thinking.
People used to think of welders as building bridges and buildings, before the gas and oil explosion, but there’s plenty of routes to success in the field.
Bob Bonish, trade and industry/agriculture supervisor at TCTC, said the school works to empower students and give them the ability to explore career fields.
“We have had students graduate and go into the Navy. Not too long ago, one became an under-welder and is making six figures, and they come back here and impress the heck out of our kids,” he said.
Welders are in demand at the Lordstown Energy Center, which is expected to bring good-paying jobs for hundreds of local workers in the Valley.
The more common applications will always be around, meaning there’s ample opportunity with the right training.
“As welders move through the ranks, there’s always openings for the new entry-level beginning welders, so it’s just a continuous cycle that feeds the area,” said Olesky.
For more information on welding jobs, visit OhioMeansJobs.com.