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NWCC welding students earn national credential

PRINCE RUPERT Nine Northwest Community College (NWCC) welding students gained their Canadian Welding Bureau (CWB) certification last month in testing that may now become a regular occurrence at NWCC. A CWB inspector had been at NWCCs Prince Rupert Campus in September 2010 to perform an audit on the welding shop and instructor Tom Fodor suggested the CWB could return to test students who expressed an interest in obtaining CWB certification and who met the instructors criteria regarding completion of theory and practical modules. The same CWB inspector, Peter Brisebois, returned to the campus to administer four shielded metal arc welding performance qualifications. The testing was very successful, surpassing both the students and instructors expectations, said Fodor, adding students covered all the costs of the testing procedures. I am very proud of their achievement and would like to thank everyone who helped facilitate this valuable opportunity this is a very big deal in the welding industry. Added Prince Rupert Campus Manager Wendy Prystay: The students were very excited about this opportunity and spent four to five days preparing the testing materials. They really pulled together to help one another and share their skills. CWB certificates were distributed to the students specifying the successful welds. CWB certification is not part of the standard Industry Training Authority (ITA) curriculum, so NWCC students are not obliged to earn it. The College does, however, facilitate CWB certification because of its benefit to students, says NWCC Trades Chair Brian Badge. The difference between ITA and CWB is that a lot of industrial sites want you to have CWB qualifications on top of ITA certification, said Badge. It's an industry recognized certification and CWB certificate holders are more likely to obtain employment in the welding field than those without. NWCC has approached the CWB about having its welding shops in Terrace and Prince Rupert become official CWB testing sites. That would allow students and non-students alike to attain this valued certification in the Northwest. Our goal in the Trades department at Northwest Community College is to give our students the tools for a successful career and those who accomplish this are often the most motivated and committed ones, said Margo Van Der Touw, NWCC Dean of Trades and of Continuing Education & Industry Training. These students deserve credit for their initiative to go outside the standard curriculum and earn this valuable credential.

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