By John Willis, MIAT College of Technology Houston President
Labor Day serves as a reminder for me that career education and technical schools such as MIAT College of Technology are filling a much-needed demand for skilled workers – welders being among them. Employers are accepting and addressing the fact that welders and other skilled workers are aging out due to retirement, and there is a growing gap of new workers to fill these roles
The Gulf Coast Region of the U.S. is home to a heavy concentration of oil and gas, chemical, and power generation providers, which necessitates a huge demand for welders and other skilled professionals. Welders are also needed in the ship-building, manufacturing, and construction sectors. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the need for welders is expected to grow by 26 percent by 2020. Jobseekers who are open to pursuing a career in welding can typically expect better than average starting pay, excellent benefits and long-term employment opportunities in a wide range of industrial sectors.
The mission of MIAT is to provide workforce training that addresses the critical labor needs of employers, and I am proud to report that our Houston campus is welcoming our first Welding Technology students in September. Pun intended, we are pleased to share that interest in our Welding Technology program has been steadily “heating up” over the past month. We are responding as quickly as possible to requests for information, tours of our campus, career counseling sessions with our admissions representatives, financial assistance and housing assistance.
Our faculty, staff, instruction rooms, computer labs, and new welding booths are well-equipped to accommodate small class sizes of 15 to 20 students. Based on their career goals, students can choose between a 3-, 7- or 9-month program and can attend either day or evening classes. Students who complete our welding programs will be qualified to pursue jobs with titles that include aluminum welder, brazer, cutter, fabrication welder, shielded metal arc welder, pipe welder, sub arc operator, welder, welder-fitter and welder/fabricator.
MIAT is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC) and has graduated thousands of students since we were founded in 1969. Without a doubt, launching any new career training program always takes an extensive amount of time, talent, effort and patience. In early 2017, several members of our Houston faculty and staff began working with me behind the scenes to develop our Welding Technology curriculum and to pursue accreditation. I am especially thankful for tremendous assistance from Juan Bernal, Lead Welding Instructor, and Rich Whiteside, Director of Training.
Our Welding Technology Programs, as well as all MIAT career education programs at our Houston campus and our Canton campus near Detroit, were developed collaboratively with industry representatives who serve on our Program Advisory Committees. In addition, our equipment has been reviewed and approved by our Program Advisory Committee.
Roc Taylor, a member of our Program Advisory Committee and owner of Building Solutions, Inc., had this to say regarding our new welding program: “MIAT’s program gives an appropriate and more than adequate length for students to become proficient in a multitude of welding processes.”
I hope you will explore our Welding Technology program offering and tell others about us. I also invite you to visit www.miat.edu/programs/welding-technology/ or call 888-547-7047 for more information. Campus tours are available by appointment.
I appreciate your help in spreading the good news about MIAT, our new welding program, and our role in equipping employers with much-needed skilled workers.