By: David Ramos, Training Specialist for South Texas College’s Institute for Advanced Manufacturing
GE Engine Services of McAllen has significantly increased its enrollment in South Texas College’s Institute for Advanced Manufacturing Welding Program. Why? The highly technical skills taught through the program have proven to be extremely effective on the manufacturing floor at GE Engines.
“We customize some of the welding courses to fit GE’s needs and focus the instruction on T-joints, butt welds, full penetration and stringer beads on corner joints,” said Joe Acosta, welding instructor for STC’s IAM. “I understand GE’s welding specifications are different than other manufacturing companies and I am glad to help them achieve their training goals.”
Acosta dedicates his time and efforts training employees in the evenings at STC’s Technology Campus in McAllen.
“The Tig welding courses STC has offered have really helped our employees and have drawn a huge interest within the company,” said Carlos Cano, training manager for GE Engine Services. “We are expanding the welding department and we need more employees trained in this area.”
As of December 2009, a total of 160 GE employees have directly benefited from STC’s IAM Welding Program. In addition to GE Engines, the IAM currently trains several other partners in the North American Advanced Manufacturing Research and Education Initiative like Hi-Tech Plastics, Springs Global and Palmer Steel.
With these newly acquired skills, employees are able to transfer to other departments or earn promotions.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to get more skills and learn a new trade,” said Lazaro Salazar, welder for GE Engines. “I hope to do more training in the future at STC.”
STC IAM welding instruction continues to grow, with welding instructors also training employees for maquiladora companies since November 2008 through a skills development grant under NAAMREI. The institute plans to become an American Welding Society (AWS) certified testing facility. Soon GE Engine Services, and all manufacturing companies, will be able to send their welders to test for certification and meet industry standards.
To find out more about STC’s IAM Welding Program call 956-872-6222 or visit http://Manufacturing.SouthTexasCollege.Edu.