Nicolet College is working with the Oldenburg Group to advance welding skills training both at the college and on the shop floor of the heavy manufacturer just west of Rhinelander.
Nicolet recently significantly expanded its welding program to take in additional students and has hired top welders from Oldenburg to teach the additional class sections on a part-time basis.
To advance the skills of workers at Oldenburg, a Nicolet instructor travels there to teach advanced blueprint reading.
“The welding students at Nicolet and workers at Oldenburg are the ultimate winners of this cooperative arrangement,” Brigitte Parsons, dean of Trade and Industry at Nicolet, said.
She noted that the full-time welding instructors at Nicolet have extensive experience working in private industry, but it is always a plus for students to learn from a variety of professionals from the field.
“Each one brings their own unique set of skills to the classroom,” Parsons said. “In doing so, students will be exposed to a wide range of talents which will make them that much more well-rounded when they enter the work force.”
Oldenburg Lake Shore plant manager Scott Sedlacek said the company places a premium on continuous skills development for current workers as well as those preparing to enter the workforce.
“It’s an arrangement that advances the skill sets of both future workers and those already on the job,” Sedlacek said. “In the end, it’s an arrangement that benefits everyone. Workers get the skills they need to be valuable employees and companies get the trained workforce they need to be productive, efficient and profitable.”
Oldenburg recently was awarded a $40 million contract from the U.S. Navy to build a variety of major components for Navy ships. These include aircraft elevator systems, mooring equipment, cargo elevators, cranes and bulkhead closure systems.
As these components enter production, the company expects to hire additional welders, machinists and fabricators, Sedlacek said.
Parsons noted that Nicolet’s welding program is an excellent place for students to learn the foundational skills necessary to enter the field.
“By hiring quality instructors with extensive real-world experience and working closely with manufacturers like Oldenburg, Nicolet students get the training they need to enter the workforce and be successful in their careers,” she said.
Nicolet also recently started an accelerated welding program that gives students the opportunity to complete the traditional one-year diploma program in as little as seven months.
Fall semester classes at Nicolet start Aug. 26 and Parsons encouraged anyone interested in training for a career in welding to enroll promptly.
More information about Nicolet’s welding program is available at nicoletcollege.edu or by calling the college’s welcome center at (715) 365-4493 or (800) 544-3039, ext. 4493; TDD (715) 365-4448.