Job Corps unveils state-of-the-art, mobile welding laboratory

Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates there could be a shortage of 291,000 welders by 2020

Job Corps gets state-of-the-art mobile lab to train welders

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Job Corps sparked excitement at its Shreveport facility Thursday morning when it unveiled its new, state-of-the-art mobile welding laboratory.

The glistening training facility can prepare eight students at once on modern welding techniques, which can hopefully lead to careers in Northwest Louisiana.

“I didn’t think it would be this good, I’ll be honest with you,” said Phillip Ponder, a Job Corps advanced welding instructor. “It’s more than what I thought I’d see.”

Loaded with the latest and greatest welding technology, the mobile lab provides a fresh approach to technical training.

Students even are protected with masks outfitted with GoPro cameras to assist in post-welding learning.

“Right now, the demand for welders is in this area. Many of the baby boomer welders my age are going out of the workforce,” says Lenita Jacobs-Simmons, national director of Job Corps.
“Right now, the demand for welders is in this area. Many of the baby boomer welders my age are going out of the workforce,” says Lenita Jacobs-Simmons, national director of Job Corps. (Source: Heyen, Curtis)

“We can teach just about any process you want to teach,” said Ponder. “We’ve got all current modern technology, equipment and inverter machines.”

Job Corps' spacious lab on wheels comes at just the right time, too, as there’s a national need for welders.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates there could be a shortage of 291,000 welders by 2020.

“Right now, the demand for welders is in this area,” said Lenita Jacobs-Simmons, national director of Job Corps. “Many of the baby boomer welders my age are going out of the workforce.”

Job Corps believes its new mobile training facility can address this problem by taking the lab to employers in Louisiana and throughout the country.

“We’ll meet the occupational needs demands of our community,” said Bonnie Moore, community development director for the city of Shreveport. “It’s extremely important we create demand occupation for today and for the future.”

Job Corps provides tuition-free, vocational training to students throughout the country.

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