uawUAW-Ford collaborates with Wounded Warriors Family Support Program to offer six-week course to veterans

UAW-Ford, in partnership with the Wounded Warriors Family Support Program, recently welcomed nearly a dozen U.S. military veterans as its inaugural class of the UAW-Ford Veteran Welding Training Program.

An official ceremony to commemorate the first day of the six-week course was held at the UAW-Ford Technical Training Center in Lincoln Park. UAW-Ford Vice President Jimmy Settles, Ford Motor Company vice president of Labor Affairs Bill Dirksen and Wounded Warriors Family Support Program founder and president Col. John Folsom were among those in attendance.

“There is no greater thing one can do for our country than to fight for our country,” said Settles. “The job outlook for skilled welders is optimistic. This program enables us to help these individuals and the industry.”

The UAW-Ford Veteran Welding Training Program is being provided free of charge to veterans who participate in the Wounded Warrior Family Support Program nationwide. For attendees who live outside of the metro Detroit area, Wounded Warriors is providing housing, per diem for food and a vehicle for transportation while attending classes.

Retired UAW welders will facilitate the course, culminating with an opportunity for those who successfully finish to certify with the American Welding Society. UAW-Ford also will provide job placement services in the areas of production, construction and repair welding.

“Manufacturing is on the rise,” said Dirksen as to the increased need for welders and other skilled trades. “Ford Motor Company is honored to partner with the UAW and Wounded Warriors to help train the next generation of welders.”

Industry sources project a shortage of 290,000 skilled welders by 2022 in the U. S. due to growth in the manufacturing sector and the aging workforce for this skilled trade.

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