Minden Press-Herald

Oct 02nd

Welding class sparked


Clement Industries offers new program

Want to make more than minimum wage? Interested in learning welding?

Clement Industries is taking a unique approach by starting an internal welding school to train potential employees who are interested in working long-term with the company.

"Our business has really picked up, but we haven't been able to get the welders that we need," Plant Manager Les Quay said. "What we are doing is kind of unusual for businesses in this area.

"My thoughts are that we can find good, hard-working people that have good work ethics and would like to learn a skill."

Clement is currently seeking people for as many as 25 welding positions, with more positions potentially available soon.

Classes will contain four to five people and consist of 80 hours training over a two-week period. The first class is already set and begins on Monday. New classes will begin every three weeks following.

Trainees will be paid $9 an hour. Those who successfully complete the class and pass a test will receive an immediate bump to $12 per hour.

According to Quay, they are looking for people that:

Have good work ethics

Live locally

Have good hand-eye coordination

Are able to read a tape measure

Are working in a low paying job and would like to earn more

Manufacturing, mechanical and welding experience is helpful but not necessary.

"I think if we can find those people, bring them in here and train them how to weld," Quay said. "We can get them from an $8 an hour job to a $12 an hour job. Which could go to 13, 14, 16, 17.

"It's a good opportunity for them and a good opportunity for us."

Jorden Industries purchased the Clement plant three years ago. Quay said significant improvements have been made across the board since then.

"We have made a lot of investments in the plant," he said. "We invested a lot last year and we've already invested a lot this year for new equipment and facility upgrades."

Much of the plant's structure and systems were repaired and upgraded. The facility was cleaned and organized, inside and out.

New production and refurbishing equipment was purchased, as well as numerous smaller investments in tools and other small items.

Quay said much more has changed at Clement over the last three years. Their business in 2011 was up 90 percent over 2010, compared to their industry's average of 55 percent growth. Their current bookings are up 128 percent over the same period in 2011.

"So that's a good problem to have," he said. "I really think our competitors are trying to look at us and see what we are doing."

Anyone interested should go to the plant at 11653 Hwy. 371 south, Sibley.






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