Welding – A Life-Changing Journey to Productivity, Responsibility and Community
We all have at least one person in our lives that have a life altering impact on us. For the last 13 years, Shawn Trader has been that one person for so many of our young people fortunate enough to participate in the ITC Welding Program. An OSHA and AWS Certified NCCER Master Trainer Mr. Traner is the kind of instructor that sets a high bar and then shows his kids how to meet and exceed it.
In his time teaching this class, the changes in the industry have been dramatic. Indeed the changes in instruction have been challenging as well. At one point there were students who were getting through the classes but when they applied for jobs, could not pass the drug test. Nowadays, drug testing is a part of the program. Every possible roadblock is considered and addressed so that these young men and women – yes, there are currently 5 young women in this class – are as prepared as they can be to step into their roles and be successful. They leave with multiple certifications as a skilled craftsperson, ready to step into a professional position. Not only do they have the skill sets, they leave with an understanding of how important a reliable work ethic is and how important maintaining those skills are. They have acquired a maturity that will serve them as they pursue their careers. Whether they go on to college or go straight into the workforce, they have acquired a mindset for success.
Having Mr. Traner come to speak at Rotary was at times enlightening, entertaining, and moving. He spoke of a young man who through the Rotary’s scholarship program was able to graduate for Texas A&M. He talked about another young man who had never been in a mall; never seen a food court. It is easy to slide through life never really considering that there are young people attending our schools who have no chance at a college education; who have never set foot out of Texas City. Without the dedication and the efforts of people like Shawn Trader and organizations like the Texas City Rotary, far too many young lives would be stunted by poverty, the lack of a stable homelife, or a role model; someone who believes in them and stands with them long enough for them to learn how to believe in themselves.
“The Texas City ISD Industrial Trades Center (TCISD ITC) is a program that supports students across Galveston County as well as the industry workforce. Texas City ISD already has partnerships with area business and industry leaders to train students for skilled labor jobs. Industry and community representatives have worked very closely with Texas City ISD leaders to outline the programs in need and the partnerships required to bring this program to fruition.
The Industrial Trades Center opened in January 2017 with approximately 200 TCISD students with a plan to expand to 400 high school students from across Galveston County in August 2017. The facility will be made available to industry and community colleges for training in the evenings and on weekends. All students and adults who receive training at the ITC will be a part of the random drug testing program. In addition to learning a skilled trade and earning industry certifications, TCISD ITC students will master workforce soft skills such as how to get along with others, communicate effectively, and make professional presentations. Students will also receive an introduction in effective employee management strategies to help prepare them to become successful supervisors in the future. Partnerships with local business, industry and community colleges will enable internships, articulation agreements, continuing education and dual credit.”