Blinn Welding Program in Bryan expands services to accommodate immense growth

Program has grown over 300% since its inaugural class in 2016

Program has grown over 300% since its inaugural class in 2016

August 30, 2018

Blinn College District student Phillip Vandermerwe’s dream of following in his uncle’s footsteps is becoming a reality thanks to Blinn’s thriving Welding Program in Bryan/College Station.

After learning about Blinn’s highly regarded Welding Program shortly after moving to the Bryan/College Station area, the Chattanooga, Tenn., native decided it was time to pursue his passion.

“My uncle began his career as an entry-level welder before working his way up in his company,” Vandermerwe said. “As we would work around his house, he would teach me a little about what he was doing, and it was just enough to get me intrigued. I enrolled in Blinn’s Welding Program in the Spring, and it has been one of the best decisions I have made.”

As more students like Vandermerwe seek an education that features nationally recognized curriculum taught by industry experienced instructors, Blinn’s Welding Program has expanded its services to accommodate remarkable growth.

This Fall, Blinn’s Welding Program enrolled 93 students at the Highway 60 Training Center in College Station, a far cry from its inaugural class of 23 students in 2016. Welding Program Manager Dickie Jones credits the rapidly increasing demand to a growing student interest in welding, diverse program instruction, and the quality of Blinn’s welding instructors.

“Blinn’s Welding Program offers training opportunities for a variety of individuals from the aspiring career welder to the hobbyist,” Jones said. “Many students who have never welded before enter our program with very little knowledge and graduate with a wide range of skills that make them very employable.”

Administered by Blinn’s Division of Technical and Community Education, the Welding Program offers competency-based training in welding technology for students pursuing college credit or participating in continuing education. College credit programs build upon each other and include a Certificate I, Certificate II, and an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in welding technologies.

Blinn also offers welding courses at the A.W. Hodde, Jr., Technical Education Center in Brenham and dual credit welding opportunities to 10 local high schools.

Through a partnership with The Texas A&M University System, Blinn recently relocated the majority of its workforce programs to the RELLIS Campus, allowing the Welding Program to utilize the entire Highway 60 Training Center, located at 5503 Raymond Stotzer Parkway in College Station. This expansion has provided the program with more classroom and laboratory space to accommodate its growing student body.

Instructors, who each possess at least two decades of industry experience, utilize more than 20 welding stations as well as a virtual welding simulator to maximize hands-on instruction.

“When I started my first class, I had no idea what I was doing,” said Vandermerwe, who is pursuing his AAS degree in welding technology. “I am very lucky that all of my instructors are very passionate about what they are teaching. They have a great deal of field experience, and they really take time to ensure that I master the techniques.”

Students who successfully complete the 60-hour Welding Technology AAS degree can earn the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) certification, a nationally recognized certification that qualifies student for jobs across the nation. Program graduates are qualified for jobs as welders, welding fabricators, welding supervisors, pipe welders, welder fitters, maintenance welders, welding inspectors, welding instructors, welding engineers, and metallurgists.

According to Workforce Solutions Brazos Valley, employment of welders is projected to grow 17 percent between 2014 and 2024. Welders can expect to earn an hourly wage between $11.69 and $20.06 depending on their experience.

“The Blinn Welding Program allows individuals to follow career paths in many industries, including maritime and ship building, automotive manufacturing, aerospace production, oil and gas, general industry fabrication, and structural welding,” said Jay Anderson, Dean of Technical and Community Education. “High wage and secure employment make welding a first educational choice for many individuals who prefer a hands-on learning environment.”

For more information regarding Blinn’s Welding Program, visit www.blinn.edu/welding/courses.html.

In September, Blinn will offer Electrician Technician, HVAC Technician, Facilities Maintenance Pre-Apprenticeship Training, Professional Truck Driving, Phlebotomy Technician, Certified Nurse Aide, Certified Medication Aide Refresher, and Electrician License Renewal courses.

Blinn’s technical and community education courses are designed to provide students the knowledge and ability they need to enter the workforce immediately after completion of the courses. Many of these courses do not require a high school diploma and enrollment is fast and easy. As most of these courses are non-credit, students do not need to go through the College’s admissions process to enroll. Programs vary in length and are offered with daytime, evening, and weekend options.

Business owners can enroll their employees in Blinn Technical and Community Education courses using Texas Workforce Commission Skills Development and Skills for Small Business funds, and Blinn staff can help businesses complete the request form. Blinn also offers students access to scholarships through the Blinn College Foundation, private grants, and Workforce Solutions.

For more information or to register for these courses, visit the Blinn Post Office Campus at 301 Post Office Street in Bryan. For additional information, visit www.blinn.edu/workforce or call 979-209-7205.

COURSE NAME/NUMBER BEGIN END CONTACT HOURS DAYS TIMES LOCATION COST
CNBT 1010: NCCER Core CurriculumCBFM 1000: Facilities Maintenance Pre-Apprenticeship Training 9/4 9/7 9/6 9/27 24 120 MTWThF MTWThF 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. RELLIS RELLIS $225 $1,475
CVOP 1013: Professional Truck Driver I (CDL & Class) 9/17 10/12 105 MTWThF 7:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Hwy 60 Training Center $2,350
CVOP 1040: Professional Truck Driver II (Road) 9/17 10/12 105 MTWThF 7:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Hwy 60 Training Center $2,350
ELPT 1019: Electrician Technician 9/4 2/7/2019 120 TTh 6:00 p.m.- 9:00 p.m. RELLIS $1,050
ELPT 2000: Electrician License Renewal 9/15 9/15 4 Sat. 8:00 a.m. - noon Hwy 60 Training Center $45
HART 1038: HVAC Technician 9/11 1/10/2019 120 TTh 5:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. RELLIS $950
NURA 1001: Certified Nurse Aide (Day) 9/4 10/17 80 TWTh 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Post Office Campus $700
NURA 1001: Certified Nurse Aide (Night) 9/4 11/8 80 TTh 5:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. Post Office Campus $700
NURA 1041: Certified Medication Aide Refresher 9/15 9/15 8 Sat. 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Post Office Campus $75
PLAB 1023: Phlebotomy Technician 9/10 10/17 72 MTW 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Post Office Campus $550
WLDG 1002: Fundamentals of Gas Metal Arc Welding (MIG) I 9/5 10/29 64 MW 5:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. Hwy 60 Training Center $560

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