The Weld – Ed Regional Center at Penn College hosted a Secondary and Postsecondary Welding Educators Summit April 6 to discuss a variety of issues in welding education in Pennsylvania. Almost 30 welding educators from across the state attended the event, during which the group discussed issues important to secondary and postsecondary welding education. Participants gained an overview of the goals of the Weld-Ed center and its role in increasing the supply of welding technicians in the United States.
Educators shared student recruitment techniques that have been successful in increasing welding enrollments. In addition to summer career camps and tours by students coordinated by their career and technology centers, ideas about how to engage middle school counselors and teachers in understanding welding and its potential as a career were discussed. The ability for individual welding teachers to build relationships with teachers and counselors in middle and high schools was one of the highlights of the discussion. Online video resources found on the Weld-Ed website were viewed and discussed as tools to share with these teachers.
The impact of Marcellus Shale natural gas exploration on the welding demand and training was discussed. Changes in welding education in Pennsylvania being driven by the Federal Perkins IV legislation received careful scrutiny and discussion. Specific tasks on the approved list were discussed and voted upon by attendees with feedback being provided to the Bureau of Career and Technical Education at the Pennsylvania Department of Education.