Welding students have the opportunity to work with different companies in the Powell community, such as Superior Machine and Production Machine. Other students have the opportunity to work for Western Mine Service, a company in Gillette, Wyoming, which hires students over the holidays and summer. Once students receive their degrees, they often are hired by their intern companies.
The Rod Burners Welding Club at Northwest College puts on an annual welding contest open to students from various high schools throughout Montana, Colorado and Wyoming. The contestants are awarded prizes such as welding machines, cutting torches, welding hoods, cutting goggles, leathers, gloves, and other safety equipment. A scholarship to Northwest College is also awarded.
The Rod Burners are also involved in other projects including building trailers, creating ornamental iron, and completing welding projects for area companies.
SkillsUSA-VICA is a national organization serving a quarter-million high school and college students and professional members who are enrolled in technical, skilled, and service occupations.
Business and industry cite the shortage of skilled workers as the biggest problem in today's workforce. In the not-so-distant future, our students will join the workforce; having technical, hands-on abilities will provide these young people with a solid foundation for their careers.
SkillsUSA's local, state and national programs provide students with opportunities to learn and practice leadership and employability skills. Through SkillsUSA, students can prepare themselves for future education or a full-time work experience. NWC's welding program and the VICA organization work together to produce quality skilled workers.
A VICA-sponsored, statewide welding competition is held each year in Casper, WY; this year the competition takes place on April 14-16. Four students from each of the Wyoming colleges attend and compete in both welding and job interview skills. The Wyoming winner is offered the chance to compete in the National contest held in Kansas City. NWC's welding student Greg Linville won the state competition in 2002, and NWC placed second in the job interview portion of the competition.