Felling Trailers has completed its first year of its Weld Training Program, and interest remains strong.
Ben Myhre was approached by Felling Trailers ownership early in 2016—five years after he was hired for a welding position at Felling—and asked to take part in the creation of the company’s Weld Training Center.
The Weld Training Center, housed in a recently acquired property, connects to the southeast corner of the company’s Sauk Centre, Minnesota, location. It was here that Myhre worked with Byron Emery, a Dakota County Technical College welding instructor to create the curriculum and the welding lab. The state-of-the-art welding lab consists of six welding booths, an instructional booth, and a small classroom adjacent to the lab.
Later, Myhre worked with Jake Fisher, an Industrial Technology teacher at Sauk Centre High School to create a structured curriculum for high school students based off Felling Trailers’ welding curriculum. The training course is an 80-hour course, 25% classroom, 75% lab work.
“I had a great mix of students in the first run. All of the students had some welding experience, and some had more than others. One thing is for certain: none of them had any formal training on welding. They all were super eager to learn. The high school kids came in with a much higher technical knowledge base with the majority of them having previously completed welding courses in school,” said Myhre.
The course starts with a review of the basics of welding.
“We review the basics of gas metal arc welding to create training that breaks down the ins and outs of welding. The course is designed to give a real world look at the manufacturing industry in Central Minnesota, as well as what it takes to perform at a high level in the industry,” Myhre said. “I am in charge of the grading process. The grading process is pass or fail. We perform destructive testing on the welds to ensure they meet a tight set of standards.”
Said Brenda Jennissen, CEO of Felling Trailers, “Our mission for this program is to provide high school students and employees with the skills and tools needed to succeed in our growing manufacturing business through career experiences that are both hands on and real world.“
For more information, visit www.felling.com or call 1-800-245-2809.