Meceola Tech Center Trains Students In Welding Cohort

A new program at the Mecosta Osceola Intermediate School District is helping send people down new career paths.

The 18 week class met at the Career Tech Center in Big Rapids.

At the end students will be ready to tackle a job in one of the skilled trades.

Twenty different students from places across Osceola and Mecosta counties come here a couple times a week, where every day they learn a new set of career welding skills.

"Skilled trades is a really hot topic right now and we are attempting to translate to that into career opportunities for people in this area," said Steve Locke.

A couple nights a week the clanging of welding equipment fills the air at the Meceola Tech Center.

"Just the ability to learn something new also and learning a new skill also empowers you to keep learning and keep progressing," said Jayna Wekenman.

Inside you’ll find dedicated post-secondary students, like Jayna Wekenman, participating in the first welding cohort at the Mecosta, Osceola Intermediate School District.

"You’re able to apply that creative side a little bit as well and the tactile side. This has been a relief to be doing something and creating something and progressing," said Jayna Wekenman.

The students train with equipment they would use on the job. At the end, walking away with three certificates from the American Welding Society.

"I want you to learn a new career be able to go out and change your life. They might have a welding job just getting by, and they’re furthering their career and future," said Mike Schmidt.

"We’ve had multiple employers from as far away as Allegan talk to us and they want to come up and present opportunities with their business and industry," said Mike Schmidt.

If you want to participate you can find a link here.