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Local business sparks students' interest in welding industry

Posted: 11:20 PM, May 14, 2019
Updated: 2019-05-14 23:25:13-04

INDIANAPOLIS — From your office building to the car you drive in, welders are a vital part in creating those things. One local store is providing free metal to four different schools in support of students in welding.

Metal of all shapes and sizes are stacked up at Metal Supermarkets in Indianapolis, waiting to be purchased. And the big question Jesse Johnson hears from welders is if anyone is looking for a job.

"I hear daily from customers, 'if you hear of anybody who's looking for a welding job, have them give me a call,'" Johnson said.

So over at Central Nine Career Center, high school students are honing in on their welding skills.

"It has good job security. I could lose a job today and go out and get another one tomorrow," Justin Lafollette, a Central Nine Career Center student, said. "Along with a lot of benefits and how it's a good way to earn money."

A projected 400 jobs will be added in the welding industry in Indiana by 2020.

Instructors with the career center are making sure the students are trained to fill the positions.

"Indiana needs them, we need the jobs to come here, so we need the workforce that can do it," Jason Wiley, Central Nine Career Center instructor, said.

Metal Supermarkets donates a variety of metals, worth hundreds of dollars to four local schools, including Career Nine.

"It helps broaden our experiences along with giving us a chance to work on different types of metals," Johnson said.

All of this sparks interest in the welding industry, creating a solid bond between preparing for the workforce and developing a passion for welding.

"Having pride in your own work and doing something with your hands, that's mainly the whole thing I love about it," Lafollette said.

Along with classes for high school students, Central Nine also provides programs for adults.

Instructors say it's a popular class and may fill up quickly. Those interested can learn how to apply here.