GARY | A twice-retired welder plans to help get a welding program off the ground this fall at the Gary Area Career Center.
Harry Miller, who lives in the Westville area, said he worked for local unions as a pipefitter and welder for many years before he took jobs teaching welding at Ivy Tech Community College, a technological firm in LaPorte and an academy in South Bend. Now he wants to revive a program at the Gary Area Career Center.
"The Gary Area Career Center has always been a hub of industrial education for Northwest Indiana," Miller said. "This program fell by the wayside. The industry has changed, but there is still a need for welders. I'm going to restart the welding program at the Gary career center."
Officials at the career center hope to attract dozens of high school students and young adults to the program, which the officials said can lead to a lucrative career.
Miller, 66, said welding is a great career and is a viable alternative to college.
Diane Lee, adult career and technical education coordinator at the Gary Area Career Center, said the center hopes to prepare students for careers.
"We intend to focus on giving students skills that will make them employable," she said. "We offer training in a variety of areas, including certified nursing assistant, cosmetology and other programs. We'll be expanding our adult community education programs. ... These are great opportunities for both men and women."
Miller said the Gary Community School Corp. is marketing the welding program by sending out fliers to local high schools, union halls, the Calumet Township offices and Work One. Program organizers hope to attract at least 40 high school students and another 45 students in the adult program.
Miller said he plans to contact local unions to develop an internship program. He also said students will be able to take a certification test at the career center.