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Baker College of Cass City Offers New Welding Program

December 13, 2013

'Baker Cass City welding
Baker Cass City welding – This rendering identifies some of the renovations that Baker College is making to a portion of a former milk plant to create a state-of-the-art welding lab. It will be complete in time for classes that begin in January. An open house is set for February.

Poised to help meet demand for welding talent
CASS CITY, Mich. – Baker College of Cass City will launch a new welding certificate and associate degree program beginning winter 2014 quarter. Classes start Monday, Jan. 13, with registration ongoing through the start of classes.

The new program is intended to help meet the needs of area employers, especially in the thumb area of Michigan, according to Karen Easterling, Cass City campus director.

“We’ve heard from farmers and representatives of manufacturers and refineries,” she said. “There is a lack of trained welding specialists. This program will provide training for those who have interest in becoming a welding engineer, welding inspector, structural ironworker, custom vehicle designer and metal art sculptor, among other welding professions.”

A new 5,000 square-foot welding lab will support the program. It is located a few blocks from Baker’s main Cass City campus, which is at 6667 Main Street. Students enrolled in the program will take general education classes at the main campus, but will spend most of their time in the lab.

The program is already offered at three other Baker College campuses: Flint, Owosso and Cadillac. Easterling said that having four campuses in the state offer the same program is another “Baker benefit” for students. “If they need to relocate before completion of the program, they can easily transfer to another campus,” she said.

Easterling believes that Baker’s established welding curriculum combined with the new state-of-the-art lab will provide superior training beginning on the program’s first day.

The lab accommodates up to 24 students. There are 12 two-man workstations. Each station has a MIG (metal inert gas) and TIG (tungsten inert gas) welder. Other equipment to be shared by class members includes multiple torches, a plasma cutter, bench cutter, drill press, grinder, tube bender, band saws and a Scottsman Sheener that cuts steel.
Tours are available to prospective students beginning Jan. 2. They are encouraged to apply as soon as possible, as enrollment may be limited.

A community open house is set for Tuesday, Feb. 11, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Attendees will tour the lab, meet faculty and members of the administration, and see the metals fabrication equipment and a few student demonstrations.

“The lab is in a renovated area within a former milk plant,” Easterling explained. “The plant naturally lends itself to be an industrial training site. It’s perfect. We were able to repurpose a vacant facility, offer a growth opportunity for the community and add a campus program.”

Graduates of the program will have acquired the skills and knowledge necessary for entry-level employment in the welding industry—skills including oxyacetylene welding, cutting and brazing, shielded metal arc welding, gas metal arc welding and destructive weld testing methods. The curriculum will meet or exceed the requirements set by the American Welding Society.

“We appreciate the many community leaders who have supported our efforts to make the start of this program successful—from those involved in building an outstanding lab to others who are helping inform area job seekers,” Easterling said.

For more information about the welding program, contact Baker College of Cass City admissions at 989.872.6000 or karen.easterling@baker.edu. Students may also schedule an appointment via the Baker College website: www.baker.edu. Financial assistance opportunities are available.

The Baker College System
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