Passing the torch: ECC's dedication to developing new generations of skilled workers burns bright

  • Tags: College Publication
Published 11/26/2018
Dave Reich and a student work on a welding technique

Dave Reich and a student work on a welding technique

As the demand for skilled welders heats up, ECC has lit a spark in teenage residents by providing them with valuable experience in a field with high growth potential.

Meeting this challenge “helmet on,” the college held its first high school welding competition in May 2018. Thirty-one budding welding enthusiasts began by taking a written test on welding fundamentals. The second stage of the event featured demonstrations of their shielded metal arc welding techniques for competition judges Dave Reich and Marc Hucek, both ECC instructors and certified welding inspectors.

“The demand for skilled welders is at an all-time high in our area and throughout the U.S.,” said Reich. “Welding is a great career choice for those looking to work with their hands while making a great living.”

Just a few months later, ECC extended its reach through its first Manufacturing Camp, a week-long, full-day summer camp for 14- to 16-year olds. Participants eagerly learned about careers in manufacturing and put their newly acquired knowledge to good use during hands-on lessons in computer-aided design (CAD), welding and sheet metal cutting.

Experienced ECC faculty members taught the new Kids’ College offering, which was made possible thanks to the ECC Foundation’s partnership with the Fabricators and Manufacturing Association’s (FMA) foundation Nuts, Bolts & Thingamajigs®. The ECC Foundation and FMA are working together on additional grants to expand opportunities for students.

ECC offers degree and certificate options in many skilled trades, including welding, manufacturing, automotive, HVACR, energy management and more. To choose a career-technical program that is right for you, visit