Welding Advisory Meeting Minutes

December 12, 2023, 12:00 p.m.

Meeting Place

Workforce Careers Center, Room W1169


Nancy Sweet, Aidan Tierney, Jon Brandenburg


Members in Attendance

David Lett (Litchfield CUSD #12), Scott Eddings (UA Local 137), Brian Baskett (UA Local 46), Josh (UA Local 46), Mike Summer (ILMO), James (CNH), Bryan Davis (Lincoln Electric), Robert (Worksaver), Lewis Nerone (Miller Electric); LLCC: Jason Dockter, Josh Collins, Doug Hoy, Brandon Lewis, Megan Bierbrodt, Barbara Messner

Members Absent





  1. Welcome & Introductions
  2. Purpose of PAC and member roles
  3. Program updates
  4. Specific industry competencies
  5. Technology and Equipment
  6. Discussion on different ways to participate
  7. Spring Meeting - May
  8. Final Thoughts


1. Welcome and introductions

Nancy opened the meeting with introductions; she introduced Jon as the new program director, and Jon continued the meeting.

2. Purpose of PAC and member roles

Our partnership with the PAC is very important to us.  We value your feedback and need your insights.  Please keep us informed of industry changes as they occur.

3. Program updates

Jon talked the group through the current program information sheet and informed the PAC that we are removing the course on pipe welding because we’re not able to teach it with excellence.  The tentative plan includes turning it into a higher level, semester long certification taught at our Taylorville site possibly starting in the fall of 2025.  Students will have to pass stick and TIG welding to be able to take the advanced certification.  This change frees up time in the main certificate for WEL 110 which will start in fall 2024.  We pulled out basic information like safety to free up time in WEL 101 for more time on stick welding. 

Aidan went over the student learning outcomes for WELL 110 and talked through the rest of the syllabus asking the PAC specific questions about course material.  Some employers use dual shield flux every day while others don’t use it at all.  We’re trying to determine the basics that all employers need for their entry level employees.  This course will be a prerequisite for all dual credit programs.  Jon will schedule a meeting to discuss this course with David and the other dual credit instructors.  The PAC was asked for input about what should be covered in WEL 110: 1) Teach stick welding, then they can learn anything else.  2) Give them a list of instructions/tasks to do; they need to take notes, go back and ask since this is what they will have to do with customers.  3) They need to know to keep a tape measure, wrench and pencil on them at all times.  4) Being able to do a good visual inspection of a weld is vital.  5) Students need to know that they will have to work hard and well; they will be dealing with expensive equipment and people’s lives.

The PAC was very interested in helping to conduct mock interviews.  Jon will send out information about this.  This fall we are implementing ESI 101 which has been created to help students with their employability skills.

In the next few years we hope to grow the program and our lab space as well as look at further advanced certificates.

4. Specific industry competencies

Industry wants employees who will show up and be on time.  Just because someone can weld in a booth in class doesn’t mean they can weld two stories up outside, etc.  They will also have to do other things than just welding—tie rebar, fence, etc.  We are trying to prepare our students for these different working environments.  We would like to incorporate our PAC members as guest speakers in our classes to address these types of issues and to represent their company.

WEL 107 is a pre-certification class to prep students for testing.  The union will send us the basic code for certifications.  Students can choose which tests to take.  Procedure is discussed in every class.  Each class has a WPS that goes with it as a laminated reference for students.  Every company agreed that this is needed.  Technical writing is important for advanced classes (something a foreman would do).

The PAC was encouraged to email Jon if they think of anything else they want to mention.

5. Technology and equipment

We are ordering new welders and phasing out some of the older ones.  We have added bevelers but are still teaching hand beveling as well.  Industry is using gas operated suitcase welders for the field.  LLCC also needs to produce good layout people because every company needs one.  We are teaching the basics so students will have the foundation/framework to learn; then they can customize their further training.  Students also need to be taught to document settings and to keep track of what they’re doing.

6. Discussion on different ways to participate

The PAC was asked to fill out a participation form indicating if they would like to participate as guest speakers in classes, etc.

7. Spring meeting - May

The end of April might be better for the next meeting.  The union is busy the first two weeks of May.

8. Final thoughts

Employment opportunities were discussed.  Worksaver would hire 6 welders immediately.  John agreed that everyone is shorthanded.  The union is taking two classes per year.  Students need to be patient with the process since it may be a year out.  They should get experience in the field while they’re waiting.

We would like the PAC to help us develop the pipe welding program.  We will be in touch for feedback this spring.

The PAC was thanked for their participation, and the meeting was concluded.

Action items