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Mon Valley career center offering welding certificate

| Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2013, 6:57 p.m.
The Mon Valley Career and Technology Center in Speers will be the site for an 18-credit welding certificate course beginning in October 2013.

With growth in the natural gas and oil fields, the need for pipe welders continues to expand.

Hoping to prepare candidates for advanced training in that field, Community College of Allegheny County is partnering with the Mon Valley Career and Technology Center to create a certificate program.

The 18-credit welding certificate course will be taught at the career and technology center in Speers, said Justin Tatar, assistant dean at CCAC Washington County Center, located in the Washington Crown Center Mall.

The initial class will begin Oct. 15 and conclude in the summer. CCAC is still recruiting for the first class, which is restricted to 14.

Upon completion of this program, a graduate may seek employment as a welder, a welding shop supervisor or as an advanced certified welder, according to the course description.

Tatar said CCAC is developing another certificate program, which it hopes to bring to the Mon Valley CTC next summer, a nine-credit pipe welding course.

An informational meeting will be held 6 p.m. Sept. 19 at the Mon Valley Career and Tedchnology Center in Speers. The welding faculty will be on hand to discuss the program.

Representatives from Pa CareerLink will discuss financial aid assistance and the director of financial aid for CCAC will also on hand. One of the topics for discussion will be benefits of the Workforce Investment Act, which provides funding for job training for dislocated workers and youths.

Dr. Brenda Trettel, academic dean at CCAC South Campus, will also be in attendance.

Tatar said welding, especially pipe welding, is in need. The growth of the Marcellus shale industry is driving that need, he said.

The certificate program will provide a prerequisite for those students preparing to enter a pipe-welding program.

The 18-credit program includes advanced welding I and II, blueprint reading and brazing and MIG and TIG welding course. The program involves six courses for the associate degree in welding certificate.

Brad DeiCas, director of the Mon Valley Career and Technology Center, said high school students concentrating on welding in the course can earn up to nine credits toward the welding certification with CCAC.

In 2014, the course will be on schedule, with students taking three courses in fall and spring, then welding in summer.

The program is designed for post high school students. It will target those who are underemployed and unemployed, Tatar said.

DeiCas said the Mon Valley CTC offers similar partnership opportunities with other schools so that students can earn certificates right here in the Valley.

“The reason I'm opening my doors to as many opportunities here is that the students don't like to travel,” DeiCas said. “They can get the same course at the same price right here.

“We can open as many doors as possible for certificates and meet the needs of the area for jobs. I need to get these students prepared for whatever avenue they take.”

For more information, call the CCAC Washington County Center at 724-223-1012.

Chris Buckley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2642 or