Top-notch welding program
With student success and program growth in mind, Uintah Basin Technical College (UBTech) opened its latest state-of the-art welding facility in 2019. A vision for a revolutionary welding facility with new, high-quality equipment began back in 2016, and the state legislature was able to make it a dream come true in 2019.
Aaron Weight, UBTech president and CEO, added proudly, “We have the best welding program in the nation and have the students to prove it. This is our eighth consecutive year of having a UBTech welding student being named the SkillsUSA State Champion. The 2021 SkillsUSA state winner went on to finish third in the national competition. It’s phenomenal.”
Focus on recruitment
To help fulfill the labor shortage and aid the welding industry, students of all ages need to explore career options, be introduced to welding and understand that welding can be a successful career path.
Stephanie Carter, vice president of Public Affairs and Student Advancement at UBTech, organizes tours with potential students and with some of the younger demographics, including middle school and junior high, especially fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth graders. During the tour, college recruiters expose them to welding without worrying about safety issues and offer a fun experience by having the students use the Miller AugmentedArc® training system, an augmented reality welding simulator that teaches the basics about proper welding technique.
By using AugmentedArc, not only do students get a feel for welding, but it allows UBTech to save tremendously on consumables. On average, using a blend of AugmentedArc and traditional welding training, instructors save up to 60% on consumables and see a reduction of up to 70% in training time.
“The process and skill set have changed the learning experience for our students. They become acquainted on the process before they actually work on the metal. It’s elevated to a whole new arena,” says Weight.
“More and more students have been finding out about our welding program, and students are moving to this small town to take advantage of this opportunity and to set them up for a successful career,” says Carter.
“We're seeing an increase in students starting to follow the welding pathway, and I would attribute that to the fact that the way that it looks and feels now is far different than the look and feel from six years ago. It's a cleaner environment, new and modern, brand-new equipment that’s easy to operate, and it’s digital.”