The Welding Industry Needs to Evangelize its Untapped Career Potential to Attract New Skilled Labor
The heat is on in the welding industry. The American Welding Society predicts a need for 336,000 new welding professionals by 2026, and with a growing demand for skilled workers, various programs and initiatives are taking center stage to attract new talent. High school welding competitions, mentorship programs, and customized professional development opportunities are just a few ways this booming trade is being promoted. But is the industry doing enough to sell itself as rich with career growth opportunities for the most ambitious potential professionals? Do enough professionals eyeing the industry see a job in welding as a career?
Vince McGill, a welder at Lincoln Electric, shares his experience of turning his welding job into a thriving career in the welding industry, and why learning a hard skill was the best path for him to build a fulfilling and promising career. The industry could benefit from telling its own story and fostering more opportunities to create professionals like Vince.
“My name is Vince McGill. I’m a welder here at Lincoln Electric. I graduated high school at 16 years old. When I was going to school, we were pushed towards getting a four-year degree by my parents, teachers, and counselors. I did community college, decided I really wasn’t into school like I thought I should be, so I decided to go get a career. Getting into a skill or when you don’t go to school, you look at things like a job.
But when I got into welding, I learned early that this is going to be a career. I can take this many places. I can become an engineer; an instructor; a CWI inspector. It’s many different fields that I can make into a career and not just a job, knowing that I can get a skill and I can make the same money I can make if I got a four-year degree.
It’s just one of the best things I ever accomplished. This can be something I can do till I retire.”
Article written by Azam Saghir.
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