Careers. Choices. Real Life.
What Graduates are Saying
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
Aleasha enjoys GTAW and CNC plasma design and cutting. She earned a baccalaureate degree from UMD before coming to WITC but needed a skill to help her toward her lifetime goals. She will graduate in the class of 2007.
Mike Leskela was formerly employed as a
concrete finisher. He successfully completed the curriculum at WITC in
the Welding program as well as two internships at Cirrus Design Corp., Duluth,
MN, and Jim's Welding in Superior. He graduated in 2006 with AWS D1.1
welding certification, a plus for his application to the Ironworkers
local Union. He was accepted into their four-year apprenticeship program in
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
starting hourly wages are above $14 per hour for this type of
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.
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.
Todd Switzer graduated in 2002 from the
Superior WITC welding program. He was accepted by the Local Plumbers and
Pipe-fitters Union in Duluth MN, into their five-year apprenticeship
program. He graduated from the Welding program with AWS plate and pipe
certifications, an advantage for application to this union.
Journeyman Pipefitters from this Union earn
in excess of $30 per hour.