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College hosts kickoff for new college-level welding program to be offered at Cambridge-Isanti High School

Anoka Technical College hosted a kickoff event Nov. 13, for the new Basic Welding certificate program that will be offered at Cambridge-Isanti High School beginning in spring semester 2015. The event, hosted at the high school, welcomed prospective students, city officials, and local business and industry leaders. It also included a tour of the welding facility and a demonstration by a second year welding student.

“This is an exciting opportunity for the college, the high school and the community,” said Sherry Butcher Wickstrom, Dean of Academic Affairs at Anoka Technical College. “We could not have found better partners than Cambridge-Isanti High School and the school district.” As a technical college it is our mission to train our students with the high-level skills needed by business and industry. In fact, more than 90 percent of the graduates from our Welding program find jobs in related fields.”

Under the partnership between the two schools, the high school’s welding facility is being upgraded and expanded to meet the needs for a college-level lab. Sixteen welding booths have already been redesigned at the school, and an additional nine booths will be added next summer to offer weekend and evening welding classes.

Dr. Raymond Queener, superintendent of District 911, is excited about the project as well. “I think partnerships between E-12 and postsecondary institutions are not only innovative, they are the way of the future. I am passionate about providing the highest quality education to all students, E-16. Sometimes to do that, we have to blur the lines between E-12 and postsecondary, which is what we are looking to accomplish with this project.”

Employment for welders is projected to grow 18 percent in Minnesota from 2012 to 2022, which is much faster than the average for all occupations, according to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. Welders in Minnesota earn a median hourly wage of $18.95.

More about the Welding Program

The 17-credit Basic Welding certificate program, open to both the public and high school students, is designed for individuals seeking a well-rounded foundation in welding and a fast-track into a welding career. The certificate courses serve as the first semester courses for the college’s Welding Technology diploma, and the associates in applied science (AAS) degree.

Students can start the Welding program as high school juniors, earn college credits, and continue to get certification.

The Anoka Technical College Welding Technology program is designed and taught by industry professionals to provide graduates exceptional welding skills for success in the work place. Not only will the new program serve students, it will help serve the larger Cambridge region as the need for high-quality welders continues to increase.

For more information about the Welding program or any of the Anoka Technical College career programs, visit


Welding KickoffSherry Butcher Wickstrom, Academic Dean at Anoka Technical College (standing), describes the college’s new 17-credit Welding Technology certificate program open to the public and high school students which will launch this spring in partnership with the Cambridge-Isanti High School.

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