The program aims to hire and train 45 new welders over nine weeks. Aerotek recruits the candidates with the right skill sets and MATC provides the training facilities. Bill Peterson, trainer and weld engineer at Super Steel, runs a one-week intensive course at MATC to get the candidates to entry level.
Since Super Steel engineers, fabricates, assembles and paints large metal structures like trains, construction equipment and agricultural machines, it can be difficult to find employees who have the right experience, he said.
“To be a candidate for this program, you have to have gone through some schooling,” Peterson said. “These people are past the point where they know they want to be welders.”
Joe Rouse, plant manager, said heightened demand for agriculture and locomotive equipment has kept Super Steel busy and hiring for the last two years.
They haven’t been able to hire enough welders to catch up with the order backlog, Rouse said. Super Steel has experienced 50 percent sales growth in the last two years.
“We have so much volume,” he said. “We’re in serious growth mode.”
Last year, Peterson tested and trained more than 200 welders. The company now has about 400 employees.
The company hopes the training program can help get welders to the needed entry level certification, AWSD 1.1, 1.3, and hit the ground running to fill orders.
“When they get through with the training program at MATC, they are going to be able to walk into our facility and start welding,” Peterson said.
New Super Steel welders who started last week said the program gave them the leg up they needed to get the job.
“It was a learning experience to work with (Peterson) because most of us have a little bit of the welding experience” but needed to learn more, said new welder Anthony Mendoza-Perry.