Well the Hubbel craft doesn’t say many wise things, but when she does, they are whoppers. This is Lora’s online comment to the Argus story about hiring welders;

Lora Hubbel · Top Commenter · Sioux Falls, South Dakota

I don’t get it. Sioux Steel, if you need welders….THEN TRAIN THEM! Why look to the government to educate and train someone for your business…DO IT YOURSELF! You don’t have to do the “schooling”…just give them hands on training. Give them a small job at first and as they learn more they can do more complicated jobs. Since WHEN have we pouted about not having enough STATE TRAINED workers? Man up Sioux Steel…take control of your own destiny and train your own workers.

Besides having the desire to want to be a welder and having skills working with your hands, there really isn’t a reason why you can’t train welders on the job. As someone who has worked in manufacturing in the past said to me;

The training schools do not teach useable welding skills. Through the last 40 years of our trying to use their trained skills in many South Dakota factories, the first thing we learned to do with the new employee was to break all the bad habits taught at the SD schools. This is a reason these students have to leave South Dakota. We do not have programs being taught matching the needs of the factories.  The necessary skills for South Dakota welding shops / factories are not taught by the instructors not understanding the businesses. Most South Dakota businesses do not need “certified” welders. These shops need to train their own employees to do the light gauge work South Dakota factories utilize. The need for the training academies is expensive bullshit to force under-educated kids to get sucked into paying high priced loans to study useless skills.

These factory owners do not want to take the farm and city kids into their factories anymore to go through a rigorous training period. We taught many workers everything about welding the way we needed them to weld and some are still at it 30 years and more later at the factory we started in 1965. This is the way it needs to be done to build South Dakota and a dedicated workforce.

No money for public education, but $50 million to subsidize training for private industry, go figure.

10 Thoughts on “Need qualified workers (welders)? Train them yourself

  1. SDGOP Mafia & Cronies on February 16, 2015 at 3:15 pm said:

    Besides training welders themselves are Sioux Steel’s wages and benefits competitive? Otherwise are we as taxpayers just subsidizing profits at Sioux Steel so they can pay lower wages and with those profits support their SDGOP benefactors?

  2. Not a welder, was a machinist, no prior training, only hands on for the particular machine I was working on. So what did I really need? Well, I didn’t have any mechanical, welding, or machining background so basically I was incapable of doing work on anything but the machine they trained me on. No, I wasn’t a complete idiot, and some of the processes carried from one machine to the next, but the BASICS were missing. What does this metal do when you do this? How do I get a smooth finish, rough finish, drill a hole within tolerance, and on and on. So often I wished I had some training about the metals and tools I had to work with. I solved many problems myself thru trial and error, but that’s expensive for the employer and then some results might be questionable. ~~~~The same is true with the welding. All the metals react different to some degree and a good welder needs this broad background. Where does he get this? ~ not from hands on training but from some kind of schooling, be it a Tech school or some specialty schooling. Every job needs basic background training. Do you want your knee Dr. to operate on your brain? Would expect your furnace man to do an excellent job on your electrical or plumbing problems? I don’t think so. ~~~~ The statement was made that certified welders were not needed in most South Dakota industries. Would you like to be out plowing the North 40 and have your machine fail from a bad weld,(one pissed off farmer coming up and a bad mark for you products), pedaling down the road and the fork on your bike breaks sending you falling into the traffic lane. How about all the highline and now the wind turbine workers, the tower climbers. These people and their jobs depend heavily on good machining and CERTIFIED welders. One accident from a bad weld could devastate a company and a family. ~~~ As you can see I believe schooling is necessary. I can train you to drive straight down the road, but how do I safely and correctly maneuver around that curve coming up, the hill in the distance? We need training in basics and background for any job, regardless of what it is. ~~~ End of rant!!!

  3. Load King, in Elk Point, trained me and a lot of other farm kids to weld back in the ’70’s – and it didn’t take two years – and we got paid to learn.

  4. Employers lie about what they pay?

    Wage estimate statistics at the state Department of Labor have welders statewide making $35,380 a year as of last October.

    Dana Dykhouse, CEO of First Premier Bank, just shakes his head at that number.

    “That is so far off, and we can’t figure out why,” said Dykhouse, who was part of the effort to create Build Dakota.

    “The two (Labor Department) numbers that did not ring true for us in the real world is the number of openings that are listed and what the average wage is.

    They seem so low to what people are saying today.”

  5. Using Lora’s logic why are there even schools? Kids don’t need to learn to read and write, math, history, science…..heck who needs science? Just ask the teabaggers.
    Why pay teachers to teach your children anything? Teachers are on vacation all the time any way……..oh wait so is congress. They are on vacation for a week right now, they are only working 132 days this year. We don’t need them either. So there ya go, problem solved. Get rid of schools and congress.

  6. Helga, having an associates degree in welding is not the same as a BS or BA degree in business or arts. South Dakota training programs educate to encourage young people to leave in order to pay for the expensive schools.

    wilf had it right about the need to understand metals and nature. A continuing education program geared to the expanding needs of the marketplace would likely do more for the homegrown businesses we have here. We still need higher trained welders and metal workers for the future but union apprenticeship programs have been some of the greatest training programs ever. The mentor system has been used for hundreds of years to build many of the world’s greatest projects.

  7. wilf -my training at Load King INCLUDED education on metals, temperatures, types of rod,, voltage, and so on. And not simple relevant to the precise metals we actually worked with – but the entire THEORY behind welding practices – which we could apply to other employment at some other time. Sounds to me like you just had an employer who skimped on the training. (Probably one that wants the state to pick up the tab now.)

  8. Dan Daily on February 18, 2015 at 9:23 am said:

    Working 2 fast food jobs and going to school to learn how to weld is a worker waste. Hire them as ‘go for’. Once you discover they have work ethic and company devotion, partner them as apprentice with a skilled person. If you need special skills pay their tuition while they’re working half time at full salary. You’ll immediately be compensated as they bring new methods to the job site. Skills they’ve qualified for you that improve your product and increase production.

    This strategy always works. It especially works for midwest employees seeking quality of life pay scale and opportunity for advancement. Ask me. I’m the consultant who will listen to you a week, agree when you adopt the plan you developed without realizing, and then send you a bill for 20k.


  9. We still need higher trained welders and metal workers for the future but union apprenticeship programs have been some of the greatest training programs ever.

    Back in the ’70’s, early ’80’s the city had a great apprentice electrician program going. That was also when the ratio of union to non Union electricians was about 10 to 1. Now that ratio is turned around. Back before Reagan became pres, the largest employer in the US was General Motors. Adjusted for inflation wages was $50 an hour average. Today the nations largest employer is Wal-Mart. Average wage? Somewhere around $10 an hour.

  10. Holy buckets, Hubbel finally said something that was totally dead on.

    This off-loading of training expenses from private industry to the general public is one of the greatest scams of the last fifty years. Schools – even vocational schools – aren’t necessarily geared towards teaching industry-specific or employer-specific techniques. It’s about giving students a broad base of knowledge in a field and setting those students up to make good apprentices.

    Like Welder said in #6, the best way to become excellent in the trades is to work hands-on, one-on-one, with someone who already is. Doesn’t matter if that’s welding, electrical work, plumbing, whatever.

    And yet, businesses that employ skilled labor have put on this total woe-is-me act and gotten Republicans and Democrats to buy it. I’m sure McDonald’s would love to not have to on-ramp employees as well. How long until Gov. Daugaard and his gang of legislative dolts in Pierre are setting up fast-food kitchens at tech schools so graduates can be 100% ready to operate the fry cooker on day one?

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