It seems according to the AWS Foundation that currently there are not enough new welders coming into the workforce especially those who not only have been trained in welding but also have a background or training in business. It seems that most want to learn welding during the recession seeing it as merely an avocation rather than a vocation. In other words, many learned the skill only as a way to feed their families rather than a skill that a business can be built around.
And Trainings Foundation have funds that came in as gifts from many charitable donors with their motivation being to have an impact as quickly as possible with part of these funds going to address the ability to recruit and train welders who would be entry level and also to assist the welders needs of the welding businesses. These two skills when taught together could induce a welder to become a business.
There is everything available for turning this skill into a business. There is plenty of Small Business Loan money available for a new businesses and lots of government contracts for small businesses to repair infrastructure.
There is also another non-profit, the James F. Lincoln Foundation that opened in the 1930s to promote welding as a better way of joining metals and also as a way to promote welding as a choice of a career. This is the only organization in the US that is solely dedicated to public education on the science and art of arc welding. This foundation was formed when the industry was only just beginning. The foundation is in its seventh decade of publishing educational text and giving cash awards for the achievements in recognizing this industry.
One of the major challenges in this field is that the public does not see the career opportunity but rather still have the image of a man behind a hood. They do not see that same man in a suit and tie making a sells call at a business that might need his company or as a business man working on his company’s budget or meeting with the board of his company on Key Welding Business issues. Nor do they see this welder as having a business outlet in many different cities employing many different people in various departments all working to support their families.
It is hard to believe but in 2008 there was a nation shortage of approximately a quarter of a million welders and has remained that way until today. Across the United States the majority of welders are disappearing due to retirement or close to retirement and are not being replaced. This is a country that has millions unemployed yet there are so many opportunities in this field for work that supports a family and can grow into a lucrative business. The shrinking workforce of this industry is needed due to the aging infrastructure as well as the needs of the energy industry.
If you are a young person working in the fast food industry and wanting to do something that could become a business – think about taking courses in business and welding.