Fabrication Apprenticeship
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  1. #1
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    Default Fabrication Apprenticeship

    I own a design+fabrication shop in Rhode Island - whetstone workshop. We've had quite a hard time finding experienced metal workers over the past 5-6 years. We're trying a different route this time, by offering an apprenticeship. Most of our work is within the architectural world, but large sculptural installations and furniture make up about 25% give or take.

    The shop has a lot of older machines- manual benders, bridgeports, lathes. We don't use CNC/laser/water-jet and we specialize in abrasive finishes, patinas in stainless, bronze and brass mostly. There is a lot of care and detail that goes into everything - something that I've found is hard to train into when I'm pulling from the typical "welder" pool of people.

    There's a lot of cross-over skills from people working as machinists, in the custom auto/motorcycle building community. Boat builders, can also have great attention to detail. So I am hopeful that this apprenticeship would allow someone just starting out, or already invested in another manual-trade to gain more skills in fabrication



    wwapprenticeship_20.jpg

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  3. #2
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    Sounds great! And a decent starting wage for someone mechanically inclined and/or a current hobbyist that might do that type of work out of their garage....

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  5. #3
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    Man I wish there was something like this down in Charleston, SC...

    So awesome your doing this.. I'll be retiring from the military next year and want to fall into something exactly like this...

  6. #4
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    Hope it works, take away there cell phones at the door...Phil

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  8. #5
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    I have been doing similar work since the late 80s. I have had great success hiring 2 year AA degree grads in welding. The Community Colleges out here on the West Coast have good programs like this- 2 year full time programs that include tig, mig, gas, and stick welding, basic math, print reading, and so on. I have probably hired 30 or so kids over the years this way, some for only a few months, quite a few for 3 to 5 year stints, full time.
    I call the head instructor, and get them to send me the best- my very first welding hire, in about 86, had won the Welder of the Year Award at LA Trade Tech, and he worked with me for five years.
    Nowadays, the kids around here are proficient with basic shop tools- bandsaws, ironworkers, and plasma cutters, but i figure that if they can measure, tell aluminum from stainless, and weld anything, then, in 2 years of me training them in real projects, they are basically journeymen.
    Many of the people I have hired were actually more skilled than just in welding- depends on age and experience- but i have found if they can tig weld really well, they are usually detail oriented enough that you can teach pretty much anything in a fab shop.

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  10. #6
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    NOT directing this against OP, that's more than wrong.
    I'm using his sentence, so often voiced by hiring body We've had quite a hard time finding experienced metal workers over the past 5-6 years. We're trying a different route this time, by offering an apprenticeship. to illustrate a point. "trying a different route" is nearly an act of desperation.

    We cannot expect to groom new interest without mentoring potential candidates.
    Do you remember seeing your first chips?

  11. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil in Montana View Post
    Hope it works, take away there cell phones at the door...Phil
    Sorry if I am jumping in the middle of a topic here... but if you need to take their cell phone...

    1) they are likely not fit for the job anyways
    2) you are a controlling asshat

    carry on...


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