Michigan Works “No Worker Left Behind” Initiative, A Shortage of Welders, and the Mobile Welding Training Lab

What does Michigan Works, the welder shortage, and a mobile welding lab have to do with one another?

It is simple. The economy sucks in Detroit, there is a shortage of welders nationwide, and someone is trying to do something about it.

I dont care if you are Republican or Democrat. Spending some Government money to train unemployed workers how to weld does not sound like a waste of money to me. In fact, it sounds just plain smart.

Its just crazy enough to work.

Have you heard of Michigan Works "No Worker Left Behind" initiative?

I like the idea... I think every state should follow this model.

Michigan residents may qualify if... they are unemployed.


have received a termination or layoff notice.


are employed and family income is less than $40,000 per year.

Many people are losing their jobs in Northern Michigan, but many more businesses are looking for workers.

There are hundreds of jobs available in this region, but the workers who need those jobs don't have the required skills.

“No Worker Left Behind” is a statewide initiative designed to bridge that gap.

Through existing federal and state-funded programs, No Worker Left Behind pays tuition, books, fees, sometimes even mileage -- $5000 per year for up to 2 years.

The purpose of the program is to train Michigan workers for jobs that are available -- jobs which often require skills training.

Kirtland Community College is even experimenting with a mobile welding training lab.

4 stations with welding curtains that are equipped with Tig, Stick, and Mig welding equipment . A total of 8 welders can be trained at one time because the welding training program is arranged in such a way that welders in training swap out booth time.

One welder cleans and preps metal while the other one welds the stuff he just got done prepping.

Still… even 8 welders at a time is not going to knock a very big dent in any welder skills shortage problem in Michigan. But it is a start.

Hey Mr. President! Are you listening? There is a shortage of skilled welders in Michigan too...as well as the rest of the USA.

There is one small thing that bothers me about this video.

After 8 weeks of training per process, the welders are tested and certified in only the 1G position.

Do you know what that is? That’s flat, laying on the bench right in front of you.

I think I understand the thinking here. but still.

It’s to just get the person a welding certification. Any certification will do. Just get a welding certification.

They don’t care what the position or difficulty is, just get the guy certified in something. So he can check the box on a job application and tell prospective employers he is a certified welder.

They are counting on the fact that most interviewers dont know the difference between a 1G welding cert and banana pudding. A lot of welding managers dont know the difference either.

But here is the thing? Fairly often, welders will fail a flat position 1G test and can pass a horizontal or vertical welding test. why? gravity. It is easier to cold lap in the flat position because the puddle tends to flow ahead and insulate the arc from the base metal.

I have always thought that horizontal joints- 2G, are about as easy as 1G flat. Maybe even easier.

And besides, I say If you can’t certify in 2G and even 3G after 8 weeks…there is a problem.

That’s just my opinion. Worth exactly what it cost you.
exit Michigan Works and learn about the UA pipefitters union

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