QUINCY -- John Wood Community College will host an informational event Thursday in an effort to assist local manufacturers address the need for more welders.
There is an immediate need of up to 200 welders in the tri-state area, according to JWCC officials.
The event is scheduled 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at JWCC's Workforce Development Center, 4220 Koch's Lane.
"Welders are in high demand," said Dave Hetzler, the career and technical education coordinator at JWCC. "All (manufacturers) have shortages."
Hetzler said retirements and increased production demands have generated the need for more welders across the region.
Knapheide Manufacturing representatives will help coordinate the session. Hetzler said Knapheide is a prime example of the need for more welders.
"Knapheide has 35 to 50 openings right now," Hetzler said.
Hetzler said Thursday night will permit interested individuals to explore what a potential career in welding might involve, including trying out a welding simulator.
"This will allow those who are interested to see exactly what welding is all about," Hetzler said.
Hetrzler said a first-year welder could earn $43,000 or more in wages, plus benefits valued at $20,000.
The event is free and open to the public, but registration is encouraged. For more information, call 217-641-4971, go to JWCC.edu/weld or email email@example.com.
Hetzler said other high demand areas in the manufacturing sector include machine operators and industrial maintenance technicians, or those who specialize in preventive maintenance and repairs.