At Velocity Metalworks, we believe that one of the best ways to hone our skills and create a strong team of talented professionals is to partner with local colleges and students to create apprenticeship programs. These apprenticeship programs are designed to give students the opportunity to learn our trade while receiving one-on-one mentoring and guidance from our experienced team. Apprenticeships allow us to pass on our knowledge and expertise to the next generation of metalworkers and provide these students with the skills they need to be successful in the industry. We believe that these apprenticeships are mutually beneficial, as the students gain valuable hands-on experience and real-world understanding, while we gain a pipeline of talented and dedicated professionals. These programs involve students working alongside our professionals to gain hands-on experience in our trade. They learn everything from welding and fabrication to machining and die building. The students also receive one-on-one mentoring from our team, allowing them to ask questions and gain insight into different aspects of the trade.
Hoffman Apprenticeship Program
In conjunction with Kaskaskia College, we have created the first metal fabrication apprenticeship program in Southern Illinois and have our first students, Logan and Caden! This program allows first-year welding students to train and work on all processes within our fabrication shop in Hoffman, Illinois including shear, turret, press brake, and welding. We employ two apprentices per year and require that they finish their 2-year welding certificate before being allowed to finish the apprenticeship program. We also encourage the students to complete their technical program at Kaskaskia as all of their classes have value. Kaskaskia College has been excellent to work with as they have modified the apprentice’s school schedule to accommodate working two full days at our shop.
O’Fallon Apprenticeship Program
At our O’Fallon, Illinois location, we have developed a 4-year (8000-hour) Tool and Die apprenticeship program. This program also has 600 classroom hours that must be completed. One prerequisite to the program is that the apprentice must have a 2-year skilled trades degree. With this program, students learn how to perform all machining processes within the tool room such as the CNC mill, lathe, and grinding. They also learn CAD work, geometric tolerancing, how to build metal stamping dies, and how to troubleshoot stamping dies. This program was created in 2020 in conjunction with the Department of Labor. We currently have one SWIC graduate in this program who majored in Precision Machining and is at his 6000-hour point. After the apprentice has completed the program, they are certified by the Department of Labor with a “Journeyman Card”. This allows them to prove to a Tool and Die shop that they have been through the required training and allows them to start at a higher pay level with the organization.