Anoka Technical College welding students, faculty and staff welcomed leaders from the American Welding Society (AWS) and area partnership employers to campus Friday, Oct. 29. Students presented findings from experiments and demonstrated how they use the equipment in the college’s Robotic and Laser Welding Lab. Anoka Tech offers an Associate in Applied Science Degree in Welding and a Certificate in Robotic and Laser Welding.
“We are excited to offer our welding students the specialized training in robotic and laser welding,” says Jay Gerdin, faculty member. “Anoka Tech is the only school in the region to have the high-tech equipment to offer this advanced laser welding program that prepares our graduates for immediate employment in the industry.”
The college’s robotic and laser welding courses are offered to a small group of students who work collaboratively through guided research projects using various materials, power density, speeds and frequency to test and learn how to use the equipment in the lab.
“Learning to become familiar with the robotic and laser welding equipment has been an interesting journey,” says Anne DeFoe, Anoka Tech student. “Our instructor, Jay (Gerdin), encourages us to be curious.”
According to American Welding Society President, Robert Roth, the welding industry is extremely dependent on a skilled workforce and “this generation will see a gap of 300,000 open positions in welding across the country as baby boomers continue to retire.”