Shaping the Welding Industry with Critical Education

Working in a field, such as the welding industry, where you have the responsibility to teach comes with a personal reward. In fact, one of the most rewarding professions is being a teacher. So, when one is a teacher in a niche area that requires hands-on learning, such as welding, it’s only natural that educators in these fields take a different approach and have a great sense of pride in what they teach their students. Welding plays a part in many other industries and heading a program in the subject often calls for incorporating it into other trades.

What role of importance does welding play in other industries, and how are welding educators helping to shape the success of students in the field?

In the newest “Straight Outta Crumpton,” Tyler Kern and Greg Crumpton chatted with Nicole LeClair, a Welding Professor at Mohawk College in Ontario, Canada, about her welding experience, transitioning into teaching the subject, and the programs she’s a part of at her school to aid aspiring welders.

LeClair said that having over 20 years of experience in the field, she is keenly aware of how other industries are impacted by welding and what usually comes next for students. She explained that this means emphasizing its importance in her teaching even to non-welding students.

“Welding is such a skill that so many other trades need to know about. So, for example, steamfitters and plumbers, and even carpenters, have a welding component to their apprenticeship. So, oftentimes I’m also teaching a group of plumbing apprentices and I’m teaching them their welding component of their apprenticeship,” said LeClair.

Kern, Crumpton, and LeClair discussed …

● Ways in which the welding industry overlaps into others

● LeClair’s teaching style and relationships she maintains with her students to support
their careers

● The valuable lessons LeClair hopes remain with her students

“When they look back on me as a person, I’d really like them to think that I had integrity and that I taught honestly, from the heart and I never mixed stuff up, I never lied to them — if I didn’t know the answer I would just get back to them, and just a level of professionalism, my integrity and just knowing that I was genuine to them,” said LeClair.

Nicole LeClair is a Welding Engineering Technologist Professor at Mohawk College in the city of Hamilton in Ontario, Canada. She’s been teaching welding for six years and has more than 20 years of welding experience.

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