The first class of West Delaware welding apprentices graduated on Monday.
West Delaware has a long history of partnering with local businesses and Delaware County Economic Development to address the labor shortage and provide opportunities for graduates. West Delaware Welding Instructor Seth Harms says this registered apprenticeship was the next logical step – and it’s been a big success.
That’s Bo Juran with Henderson Products – one of four apprentices who graduated Monday during a small ceremony at the high school library. The apprentices worked an average of fifteen hours a week at one of three local industries – Henderson’s, XL Specialized Trailers and Paladin Attachments. Dakota Waterhouse and Jeffrey Ilgen completed their apprenticeships at XL.
Jacob Brown spent his apprenticeship with Paladin.
Tim Guyer, HR Manager with Paladin Attachments and Stanley Infrastructure, says this registered apprenticeship program has been a win-win.
A special guest attended the West Delaware welding apprenticeship graduation on Monday. Jeff Weld is Executive Director of the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council and he says West Delaware is leading the way among schools in the state.
Harms says West Delaware has seven applicants ready for another round of the welding apprenticeship program – and a couple more apprenticeships are in the works too.
photos courtesy of Janelle Tucker/KMCH