College of Western Idaho’s (CWI) Workforce Development division is celebrating the first graduates from a new workplace welding course that was created in collaboration with Multiquip Inc. Since completion of the eight-week course on Jan. 29, the partnership has shown great promise as two Multiquip employees that completed the course have already achieved promotions.
Multiquip, a global manufacturer and supplier of industrial products and solutions approached CWI last year to fill a skills gap in their workforce. The company expressed a need to train their current employees for advancement opportunities while also creating a bridge for recruiting new skilled workers. The collaboration resulted in the creation of a targeted welding course to address the specific industry skills needed. In total six Multiquip employees enrolled in the inaugural course, along with two students sponsored by the Idaho Department of Labor and three employees from other local companies.
“CWI’s Workforce Development program was formed to support the continued training needs for evolving industries throughout western Idaho,” notes Christine Rood, Executive Director for CWI Workforce Development. “The collaboration with Multiquip ensured our course was directly filling the welding skills gap and provided opportunities for our students to gain marketable job skills.”
The class focused solely on Metal Inert Gas (MIG), or Gas Metal Arc Welding, technique. Curriculum covered blueprints, welding symbology, machine safety, and set-up. The primary goal is to train students to weld in a fast-paced production environment.
“This is a great example of how business, education, and Labor can work together to create a talent pipeline of welders,” said Idaho Department of Labor Director Ken Edmunds. “The workforce needs of industry get filled and Idahoans gain new skills and higher wages.”
Phil D’Amato, Multiquip’s Vice President of Human Resources and Chief Compliance Officer, further commented, “This serves as a perfect example of how a private employer, an educational institution, and a state agency worked together. The hiring of qualified welders has been a challenge at Multiquip, and we were going to ‘grow our own’ with an in-house welder certification program. Through this unique collaborative effort, we were able to formalize the program and create a model for future classes thereby increasing the labor pool of qualified welders. This is truly a win-win-win opportunity”.
CWI will continue offering the course in its regular rotation of non-credit welding classes. The next class starts Feb. 23 and will run through April 15. For more information on CWI’s Workforce Development programs visit cwi.edu/wd.
College of Western Idaho
About the College of Western Idaho
The College of Western Idaho is a public, open-access, and comprehensive community college committed to providing affordable access to quality teaching and learning opportunities to the residents of its service area in western Idaho. CWI has seven campus locations throughout Southwest Idaho providing higher education and 21st Century technical skills acquisition. The college is dedicated to improving the community’s economic well-being by responding with highly-educated and productive graduates. The foundation for the area’s only community college was created by a supermajority of voters in Ada and Canyon counties on May 22, 2007. For more information about the college, visit cwi.edu or call (208) 562-3000.
About Multiquip Inc.
Founded in 1973, Multiquip is one of the largest, most diversified manufacturers and suppliers of world class quality products and solutions for the construction, industrial, telecom, government, non-commercial, entertainment, and oil and gas exploration markets. Multiquip's comprehensive product portfolio encompasses light to medium construction equipment, power generators and lighting. Servicing customers worldwide, Multiquip distributes its products in more than 70 countries through thousands of authorized distribution partners. For more information, please visit www.multiquip.com.