The Future Welders: Six new individuals graduate from W2W 2.0

This Friday, November 16th- six outstanding individuals will graduate from the 3rd Weld to Work 2.0 program here at the Steel Yard. For many of these graduates, the path to the finish line began several months ago when they submitted an application to the incredibly competitive Weld to Work 1.0, the 30-hour introductory training.

All eight participants are now trained to safely use a MIG, TIG, and Stick Welder, as well as, oxyacetylene torches for bending and cutting, plasma cutters, angle grinders, chop saws, horizontal band saws, drill presses, tape measures and a variety of hand tools- all within the 120-hour training.

Just like Weld to Work 1.0, this program is a paid job training… each participant not only further develops their metal working skills but also work on actual commissions through our Public Projects department. During 2.0 the participants collaborated on building shelving units for the Yard as well as four unique trash/recycling cans that will be installed in the south end of Wood Street in Bristol, RI commissioned by Mosaico CDC. The cans are side opening and were designed by artist and fabricator Brendan Rose who provided the program the blueprints.

As part of the training, each 2.0 participant also completed another 10-hour training and received their OSHA-10 safety training certifications. Additionally, each graduate completed a comprehensive financial literacy training at One Neighborhood Builders facilitated by Rosa Pastor. The training covered creating budgets, savings accounts, credit & credit reports.

“I think the way we did 2.0 this season will greatly increase each participant’s abilities to secure employment once the program is over… it was a more involved curriculum this season with projects tied to each training. PLUS, each participant received their own gear to take with them once they’ve completed the program.” Said Fafi, Workforce Coordinator.

Built into the 2.0 curriculum is a well-rounded schedule of site visits to potential employers and further education/training opportunities in Rhode Island. This round of 2.0 visited New England Institute of Technology to learn more about their SAMI program, the RI Welding/ Fabrication shop, Bullard Abrasives, Thielsch Engineering, and Building Futures.

Weld to Work 2.0 would not have been possible without our phenomenal Instructors and Teaching Assistants who play an integral role every day in the future success of the participants. Thank you, Warren Collins, Wright Deter, and assistant Pedro Pinas. Great work!

Special thanks to our 2018 partners and sponsors Polaris MEP, Nordson, and Textron

Special thanks to all of our program partners including: One Neighborhood builders, Bridgemark, Amos House, Thank you to the RI Department of Labor and Training, and Bullard Abrasives, Children’s Friend.

Finally, thank you Fafi Rivera, the Steel Yard’s Workforce Coordinator, who continues to shape and grow the program.
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