FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 9, 2006
Welding Accreditation, New Program Expand Choices
College of the Canyons has received national accreditation from the American Welding Society (AWS), which has granted the college its coveted designation as an AWS Accredited Testing Facility. The college is now one of only a handful of such testing facilities in all of California.
"This is as good as it gets," said Tim Baber, chair of the college's Welding Technology Program. "It really expands upon the certification choices students have."
Also contributing to expanded opportunities are a variety of new courses in the highly skilled and lucrative field of pipe welding. Evening courses covering topics such as fundamental theories and applications, layout and fabrication, and advanced techniques and practices will begin in late August.
The pipe welding courses join a wide variety of existing course offerings in welding technology, metal sculpturing, metallurgy and weld inspection. And, of course, AWS welding certification adds a key component to the overall program, allowing students to train and test at one location.
As one of the state's few such testing facilities, "College of the Canyons is well poised to become the central hub in regards to providing outstanding weld training and qualification testing for Southern California," Baber said. AWS weld-qualification testing is expected to begin in early September.
The AWS testing will allow students to become certified in many different types of welding, Baber said, adding: "It opens up many more doors of opportunity because AWS is globally recognized. Our students can now go anywhere in the world to get work and advance their careers."
AWS is the world's largest organization devoted to promoting and supporting welders and the welding industry, and it hosts the world's largest annual welding exposition.
Those who pass the organization's welding certification exams are more likely to obtain work and typically earn higher wages, Baber said. Certification is becoming more and more important in the industry, he said, adding that the best jobs are increasingly going to welders who are certified.
To qualify for the AWS Certified Welders Program, the college's Welding Technology Department underwent an extensive audit and a formal accreditation process, Baber said. The department passed the audit and accreditation process with "zero non-conformances."
College of the Canyons has trained and qualified welders for more than 30 years. Its Welding Technology Department, staffed with experienced AWS-certified professionals, also offers comprehensive and affordable training in oxyacetylene, shielded metal arc, gas tungsten arc, gas metal arc, laser and orbital gas tungsten arc welding.
The college is equipped with the most technologically advanced welding equipment, and it is licensed with the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety to perform weld-certification testing.
For those considering careers in welding, the U.S. Department of Labor's outlook for future employment is promising. Qualified welders are in short supply nationwide, the department reported, and "job prospects should be excellent as employers report difficulty finding enough qualified people. In addition, many openings are expected to arise as a large number of workers retire over the next decade."
A little more than 60 percent of welding jobs are currently in manufacturing. Jobs are concentrated in fabricated metal products; transportation equipment (motor vehicles and ship building); machinery for agriculture, construction and mining; architectural and structural metals, and construction, the labor department reported.
Fall semester classes at College of the Canyons begin Aug. 28. For more information about training and testing opportunities in welding, contact Tim Baber at (661) 259-7800 or firstname.lastname@example.org.