WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.-- High demand and lots of open jobs for welders has Forsyth Tech adding overnight classes for its Welding Certification Program this fall. Community college officials say they will have classes from 11 p. m. until 4 a.m.
Demand, open jobs and a waiting list in the school's program are leading to the decision to add more classes.
"We've reached capacity under current program. Last fall, when we registered all those new students, we had a waiting list of roughly 35 people and since manufacturing runs three shifts generally, basically this is going to be a third shift that we are offering here now," said Todd Bishop the Chairman of Forsyth Tech's Advanced Manufacturing Program.
Expansions at Deere Hitachi in Kernersville and Siemen's Westinghouse in Rural Hall also have increased demand for trained welders locally, but nationally there is an increase too Bishop said.
"What's happened, in my opinion, is the foreign markets couldn't handle the precision so what's come back is high precision jobs in a lot of manufacturing," said Bishop.
Bishop points out that potential students must be driven and precise, but if interested they can make a good living.
"They are good jobs. We are talking about skilled jobs, so when talking about skilled labor, you're talking in the upper teens probably up to $25 an hour," said Bishop.
The new overnight classes start in the fall. Registration will start later this year.