SWIC Welding Technology student Dawn Poston of Worden has been working as a welder/robot programmer at Seyer Industries in St. Peters, Missouri since February 2014. She said her education helped her move into a field that can give her a chance to make a better life for her children.
“I love being a welder! I take great pride in knowing that I am one of the few that possess the skill set to build the world we live in, and be able to claim the title of welder,” she said. “I like bringing a couple pieces of metal together to make something. I like programming the robot to do the work five times faster than we can actually do it.”
For Poston, the abundance of jobs available and the value of the careers she could attain helped inform her decision to pursue welding as a career. Automated welding is expected to grow by six percent over the next 10 years, according to bls.gov.
“I wanted a career, I wanted a better life for my children,” she said. “Welding was something I was always interested in. I looked online at what (SWIC) offered and what careers people would be needed in, and I knew that welding was a field that a lot of people would be needing.”
Poston is currently pursuing her associate’s degree in Welding Technology, but has already earned four certificates: Welding Technology, Welding Technology Advanced, Welding Technology Specialized and Advanced Welding Manufacturing.
“Dawn was a fantastic student with excellent attendance and work habits,” said SWIC Welding Assistant Professor Kevin Corgan. “She excelled in all phases of the welding program, including manual welding, knowledge and understanding of welding, automated welding, robotic welding and CNC cutting.”
Support from IGEN Career Pathways has allowed the college to greatly enhance the Welding Technology program. During the past four years, the Welding department’s facilities have been expanded to include instruction in automated welding systems, robotic arc welding and CNC cutting using state-of-the-art technology. The college was also able to add the Advanced Welding Manufacturing certificate as a result of the grant.
Poston said she is proud of her time at SWIC. “I get along really well with the teachers,” she said. “They are all more than willing to take the extra time to help you and build you up.”
For more information on the SWIC Welding Program or the Technical Education Division in general, call 618-235-2700, ext. 7475.