Grant provides DATC a mobile welding training center

Thursday , July 28, 2016 - 7:51 PM

DOUG GIBSON, Standard-Examiner Staff

KAYSVILLE — There are a lot of future welders at the Davis Applied Technology College. Ginger Chinn, the DATC’s director of marketing and community engagement, says the “program is bursting at the seams.”

The program will soon have more space. The Utah Cluster Acceleration Partnership awarded the DATC $190,000 for a mobile welding training center. 

With the mobile trailer, which should arrive by the end of the year, the DATC can accommodate 120 welding students. The trailer will allow students to go to local businesses and high schools and receive customized training.

“When we go out and talk to high schools and companies ... we can train them right in the trailer,” Chinn said.

The trailer will have six welding bases, as well as two virtual welding bases for beginning students.

The mobile trailer offers more training options for students, Chinn said. “When we train the students, we’re training for jobs in the community,” she said. The DATC works with local businesses to move graduates into industry positions, she explained.


Also getting a grant was the Ogden-Weber Applied Technology College. It will soon form Northern Utah Aerospace Pathways with its $193,000 grant. The goal is to boost employees in the field of composites. Composites technology involves materials with distinct physical or chemical properties used to create a material different from the original properties.

A first step is a composites class this fall at Ben Lomond High School in Ogden. “The grant will help with purchasing equipment and help set up the composites lab at Ben Lomond,” said Jim Taggart, vice president for instructive services at OWATC.

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Aerospace employers, including Hill Air Force Base, Boeing, Orbital ATK and some recreational companies, need employees with composites skills, Taggart said.

The Ben Lomond course is 210 hours, with a 48-hour internship after the course. “They’ll get experience while they’re in high school,” Taggart said.

If students start in 10th grade, they can continue taking the course at the OWATC without charge through the remainder of high school. 

“It’s a seamless passage,” Taggart said. If students finish the 710-hour training by 12th grade, they are qualified for composites jobs that can pay as much as $15 to $20 an hour, he added.

A partnership with the Department of Workforce Services for adult composites training is also planned. It’s a year-long program for adults designed to get students into jobs, Taggart said.

The Davis School District also has a composites training program. It includes a 60-hour semester class at high school, with another 48-hour semester at the DATC.


A grant of $254,000 for the Northern Utah Curriculum Consortium will assist under-employed adults become licensed teachers. The NUCC’s Northern Utah Pathway to Employment is allied with Weber State University and local school districts, including Weber and Ogden, said Darin Nielsen. a member representative of NUCC on behalf of the Box Elder School District.

There are many employees in schools who have the skills to become teachers but lack the licensing, he said. The grant will assist these school workers in becoming teachers.

“The grant is to assist the candidates obtaining a Utah educators license. Our candidates all have a non-teaching bachelor’s degree,” Nielsen said.

“We have too few teachers,” Nielsen said. That concern prompted the grant request.


Melisa Stark, an employer initiatives program manager at Utah Department of Workforce Services, described the application process for the grants.

Applicants filled out a request for grant application that was extensively reviewed. Applicants who survived the first cut were invited to make presentations, Stark said. 

The last step involved a committee of three. They are Jon Pierpont, executive director of the Department of Workforce Services, Vale Hale, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, and Utah Commissioner of Higher Education David Buhler.

“They make the final decision,” Stark said.

The Utah Cluster Acceleration Partnership is a partnership of the organizations led by Pierpont, Hale and Buhler.

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