HOUSTON — Ryan Gassett had already put in a full day, moving heavy boxes and furniture for $15 an hour, when his introductory welding class began at 10 p.m. By the time he arrived at Lone Star College north of Houston, the highway toll collectors at the exit for the school had closed for the night and the campus janitors were mopping bathrooms.
The graveyard-shift course was not his first choice, Mr. Gassett, 19, explained, but “there were no other openings.” So he took what he could get.
...Entry-level welders can earn about $16.50 an hour. Experienced structural welders earn over $30, plus a per diem expense bonus. Specialty welders command $55 to $100 an hour, the upper end offered for someone, say, who can work underwater...
..Mr. Parks at San Jacinto College said they could barely keep pace. “Most of our students are getting snatched up before they finish their certification,” he said. Enrollment in its welding classes has grown by 75 percent since 2010. Two years ago, the college added 10 p.m.-to-2 a.m. classes to meet the demand. “We would offer more classes if we could,” Mr. Parks said, but the school can’t find any more instructors.
Night welding classes at San Jacinto and Lone Star attract high school graduates with no experienceI don't think people who say there is strong demand for scientists know what strong demand looks like.
who live at home, entry-level welders who want to increase their skills and pay, and experienced craftsmen from other states who are lured here by the high pay but lack a degree. Many begin their schooling only when their day jobs end.
*(I don't think you can call a situation where 4 answers to "Who Should Pay for Workers’ Training?" range from "the taxpayers" to "someone else" a debate.)
|Credit: Lisa Balbes|