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Collaborative Project for the Preparation of the 21st Century Welding and Materials Joining Technician

Materials joining are a critical manufacturing technology that impacts a wide range of industries. Currently there is a well-documented shortage of highly skilled welding technicians and this shortage will become more acute in the very near future. The welding/materials joining technician of the 21st century needs to develop sophisticated skills and knowledge to allow him/her to meet the job challenges associated with advanced manufacturing technologies. This project is a collaborative partnership between Lorain County Community College (LCCC) and The Ohio State University (OSU) to jointly design and develop a series curricular models / materials to prepare welding / material joining technicians for manufacturing jobs in the 21 century. One of the main focuses of our project is to advance the technological skills of displaced workers and to increase the exposure of the modern welding field to women, minorities, and the inner-city communities.<br/><br/>Although there are numerous two-year colleges in the US that offer certificate or degree programs in welding technology, these programs tend to be primarily focused on the development of manual skills and low technology arc welding processes. Our project is developing a curriculum model with the potential to be a national template for the training of welding and joining technicians at two-year colleges. Our faculty teams are developing curricular models that can be emulated by secondary schools and other two-year colleges who presently have, or desire to create, programs for the training of welding technicians. Our model provides core competency in the various areas of welding technology - processes, materials, design, and inspection, while allowing flexibility for training students to meet the needs of the local manufacturing community. Following the completion and testing of this model at LCCC and local high schools, a regional center is being established to expand this approach to key two-year colleges and secondary schools in the manufacturing sectors of the Great Lakes Region. These colleges and schools are building upon the model with adaptations as appropriate to meet the needs of their local environment.

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