Clark State, McGregor partner to offer welding certificate to employees

Quick path program ‘really is the future,’ college president says.

Clark State College Workforce and Business Solutions and McGregor Metal have partnered to offer employees certificates in welding.

The two partnered to create the Learn to Earn certificate, a four-week, 32-hour training, which consists of four employees each month who will go through an introduction weld tech training to take back and use in the facility.

President Jo Alice Blondin said this partnership is “truly an investment in people.”

“Quick path — or non-credit — really is the future,” she said. “It is the model that will be at every community college and in every regional university in the future.”

Clark State has partnered to work with other employers, but this partnership is the earn and learn model. McGregor Metal is working to build a pathway for employees who want to grow their careers, and a welding specific position can be a barrier for employees who want to make more money.

“We are willing to invest the money and the time,” said Jamie McGregor, CEO of McGregor Metal. “We view it as delivering on a need. Flexibility and creativity, that’s what we need as an employer.”

The training is held twice a week for four weeks at the college’s main campus. The first class of trainees graduated earlier this month, and the next cohorts are now full.

The plan is to offer training on a consistent schedule. The courses are offered at no cost to the employees.

“If I can give someone the gift of education, then that is theirs forever,” said McGregor. “They can take that wherever — down the road, up the street — it doesn’t matter to me, but hopefully they say, ‘When I was at McGregor, they gave me this.’”

McGregor Metal is a contract manufacturer specializing in the production of metal stampings, welded assemblies and split steel pulleys to a variety of customers and industries. They are currently hiring. For more information, visit

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