Northwestern Michigan College Adds Two New Welding Degrees

Northwestern Michigan College will help give those interested in welding more learning opportunities.

The board of trustees Monday night approved two new degrees for welding, meaning they will offer three different welding degrees.

“Once you throw down your welding hood you’re just in it.”

Welding is more than just a skilled trade to many like NMC Welding Instructor Devan DePauw, it’s a career they’re passionate about.

That’s why for years NMC’s Welding Technology Program has been striving for more.

DePauw says, “If they’re going to have a good solid career they need to base that on an understanding of the technology being used. So the more we can expose the students to it the better chances they have and the basically better all the industry does.”

Two more welding degrees, one that focuses on just welding with no general education requirements and another that would certify a student as a welding technician.

DePauw explains, “So it’s a more well-rounded approach beyond certificate level one, but it doesn’t have the gen-eds and the science background that’s in the associate of applied science so we’ll have three total levels but two of them previously haven’t existed.”

An addition that can make difference for potential future students like Stephen Cousino, he is part of Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District’s Career Tech Center Welding Program.“It definitely opens a new pathway my vision on looking into college or trade school. Now that I can go locally I would definitely consider doing the NMC program, I guess it would all depend on jobs and what they would prefer.”

For the local manufacturing industry, it’s an advantage. Rob Summers, the new business development manager at Britten Metal Works in Traverse City says, “Anytime you can get more education to people to increase their skill sets it certainly advances the profession. So for folks like us that are doing complicated fabrication projects and production programs that’s always going to be a benefit.”