OTC Industrial Welding Program Prepares the Next Generation in Welding

OTC Industrial Welding Program Prepares the Next Generation in Welding

 

Ozarks Technical Community College (OTC) houses many training programs and degrees that help create a talented workforce in southwest Missouri. One such program is the 20-Week Industrial Welding Program which prepares students for the metal fabrication industry. Morgan Industrial Technology is proud to partner with OTC in this program to supply them with the tools they need to create a practical learning experience.


This program supports the admission of 14 students. With the present climate, they are currently supporting 9 students while keeping potential gathering regulations in mind. The industrial welding program has two paths: stainless steel and structural steel. The stainless steel curriculum focuses on the required trade applications for the fabrication of stainless steel. Program instructor, Brian Towry says, “We surveyed local fabrication companies and found that 85% dealt with stainless steel. We changed our curriculum to meet that need.” 

The Program's Local Impact

Springfield is known as the stainless steel capital of the Midwest, with more than two dozen companies in the industry. One such company, Holloway America, partners with OTC. Holloway America hires students part-time capacity to provide practical experience while they complete school. Students are often hired full time, once completing the program and receiving their certifications. In addition to Holloway America, OTC has helped another local fabrication company, SFI, set up an apprenticeship program for new hires. 

Mr. Towry explained that most local high schools do not have in-depth technical programs that give students the experience they need to go into the welding workforce directly from high school. The OTC program helps create a talented pool of employees from which local companies may choose, thus keeping jobs and people in the Springfield area. Mr. Towry finds that most students desire to stay in the area and potentially choose from several local fabrication companies. 

MIT's Partnership

Morgan Industrial Technology is proud to partner with OTC in its stainless steel welding program. Mr. Towry has a trusted relationship with MIT after working together over several years, even working with owner, Jeff Morgan, while Brian was at a previous employer. MIT offers support by providing equipment and instructor training on equipment common to the process piping industry. 

Recently, OTC purchased a Magnatech pipe welding and vision system with MIT’s help. This semi-automated orbital welding system has a camera and screen that can be connected to the classroom video display. Students can see and discuss welds in real-time without crowding around the workpiece. This technology also prevents unnecessary work for instructors, as they typically need to conduct multiple welds for all students to see. Seeing the weld as it is performed allows the class to discuss what the system is doing and why – such as the oscillation pattern and how to tie-in the weld. The technology in the Magnatech system is becoming more prevalent in the orbital welding industry, which gives students current and relevant training for what they may see in the field.

 

New to orbital welding? Download our guide, Orbital Welding Essentials: Your  Guide to Orbital Welding.

 

OTC has other specialty equipment from MIT, such as the semi-automated TIP TIG. Students use this technology to conduct a circular weld on a fire pit base. This two-person project helps prepare them for critical welds on pharmaceutical tanks.

Other tools supplied by MIT include an AXXAIR orbital saw and ESCO Tool Millhog. The orbital saw is used for quickly cutting stainless steel tube and pipe samples, and the Millhog shows the difference in hand grinding versus using a portable machine to bevel pipe ends. 
 

Mr. Towry sees the recent changes in curriculum and technology giving their students the experience they need to be successful. He expects potential students to realize the benefits of enrolling in the program and hopes to add a night class program to serve non-traditional students in the future.

OTC Welding Lab