Left to right: Jordan Klejeski - Welding Student;
Jon Stec - Welding Student;
John Palmer, Instructor & Program Advisor;
Amanda Gilderman - ASL Interpreter
Jon Stec graduated from Michigan School for the Deaf. He was the yard manager at a sawmill before enrolling fulltime in the Welding Program at WITC-Superior. “My experiences here have been valuable, and the classmates have been very easy to work with. My team of three ASL interpreters are exceptional. WITC as a smaller school has a very close family feel. Everyone has been very helpful, from admissions, accommodations through to job placement” said Jon Stec 2016 graduate.
2007 WITC-Superior Welding program graduate Logan Niemi worked as a welder and pipefitter for nearly 3 years at Bend Tec in Duluth before returning to college in Hutchinson, Minnesota.
Niemi will receive his associate’s degree in nondestructive testing in December, 2012 from Ridgewater College and already has a job lined up in Valley, Nebraska. There he’ll work for Valmont Industries using ultrasound and magnetic particle to test the quality of welds in company products such as light poles and stadium lighting.
At just 20-years-old, Trent Pank left a cashier’s job at a major discount store to begin his career in welding and robotics in Fargo, North Dakota.
Pank, a 2011 graduate of the WITC-Superior welding program, now builds large, commercial agricultural and construction equipment at Case New Holland. He’s one of seven Superior welding grads hired by the company in the past year.
In addition to making more than $20 per hour, Pank works a continental shift. That’s 3, 12 hour shifts per week, allowing him to commute to Fargo from Superior where he currently chooses to live. He’s a member of Machinists’ Union Local 2525.
Pank credits WITC for providing him the experience to land his first job. “The welding program actually prepared me beyond what I needed,” he said.
James Irish (left) was formerly employed in a local fast food restaurant, and successfully graduated from the WITC-Superior Welding program. He was selected by the Ironworkers Apprenticeship committee to start their four-year program May 2006.
Chad Rowson (right) was formerly employed locally as a professional driver. He graduated from the Welding program and also was selected for the Ironworkers Local Union Apprenticeship.
Both graduates earned AWS D1.1 X-Ray welding certifications, a plus for entry into many of the local trade unions. Starting hourly wages for Ironworker Union apprentices is currently over $18 per hour.
“I’ve got life skills for a career. My instructor, John Palmer, was an outstanding teacher who instilled in us a strong sense of work ethic on the job. I would definitely recommend WITC to aspiring technical students.
Maren successfully graduated from the welding program in 2006. She has worked as a Teaching Assistant for the 2006-2007 academic year for the Welding program. She enjoys welding especially GTAW, and has been restoring a Jaguar Racing car chassis using her welding skills. She plans to enter the Plumbers Union as an apprentice.
Starting hourly wages for
Ironworker Union apprentices is currently over $18 per hour.
Eric Peterson graduated from the 2006 WITC-Superior Welding program successfully completing the curriculum and two separate internships at Cirrus Design Corp., Duluth, MN, and Jim's Welding in Superior, WI. He was hired by Northstar Aerospace, Duluth, MN, as a GTAW welder, making critical welds on components for the aerospace industry.
Typical starting hourly wages are above $14 per hour for this type of employment.
John Schweiberger successfully graduated in 2002 from the WITC-Superior Welding program and was hired at Sappi Fine Paper in Cloquet, MN, (formerly Potlatch Corp) within their Maintenance Department. He had received AWS D1.1 X Ray certification prior to graduation from WITC.
Maintenance personnel earn over $20 per hour at the Paper Mills.
Gina successfully graduated from the 2006 Welding program, and has worked for Jamar and Industrial Welders since leaving college. She proved to be a valuable and industrious student and employee.
Journeyman Pipefitters from this Union earn in excess of $30 per hour.