Students Get Hands-On Welding Training in Madison 

Some high school students in Madison are getting a hands on experience. The goal is to spark a future career interest in them. It’s not your typical high school classroom.” It comes complete with 8 welding stations, it can do virtually any kind of common welding from wire feed, to arc, to gas to tig welding,” said Jonathan Nelson, program manager with Madison Alternative High School.It’s a mobile welding training center provided by the New England School of Metalwork. Students in Madison are trying it out. ” I like how it’s very hands-on. I’m a visual learner so seeing it done makes it so much easier for me,” said student Kirsten Braley. Braley is a high school senior who has some welding experience. ” I went to Cianbro in Pittsfield and did some training with them for a little while,” said Braley. Adam Nichols is a freshman and he likes welding, a lot, he just can’t put his finger on why. ” Welding metal together, it’s just, I don’t know. Melting it together, it’s fun,” said Nichols with a laugh. Both students are thinking of getting into the welding business, and instructors like Jon Gradie, say that’s a good thing.” The average age of a welder in the United States is 56 years old give or take a year, and they’re retiring at twice the rate as young people coming in,” said Gradie, an instructor with the New England School of Metalwork.If that information doesn’t get students interested, maybe this will.” If you get into welding and you’re good, you can name your own price and go anyplace in the world and work,” explained Gradie. It’s something Nicols likes to hear. ” I think it would be fun, traveling around the world and do underwater welding,” said Nichols. That’s the goal, fusing together the trade with its next generation of workers. This is the third year the mobile welding unit was in Madison. Instructors travel all around New England with the unit.