KC apprenticeship students attend official signing ceremony

June 15, 2022


Men sitting behind a table.

Photo caption: Standing: Professor Cory Wellen Seated: Brian Wort, President and Owner of CF Fab, Cayden Harris, Logan Smith, and Bryan McIntosh, Director of Operations, CF Fab

CF Fabricators of Hoffman, IL, partnered with Kaskaskia College to welcome two students into a welding technology apprenticeship that will play an essential role in providing a skilled labor workforce. Logan Smith of Centralia and Cayden Harris of Salem signed for a Fitter Fabricator apprenticeship with CF Fabricators last Friday.

“I’m looking forward to learning more about welding in this apprenticeship,” stated Logan Smith, a second-year student at KC. “It’s going to be great learning welding and then actually get to weld on the job.”

The partnership between CF Fabricators and KC is the first apprenticeship program for the KC Welding Technology program – an industry-driven effort to recruit and retain workers. 

“I first became aware of the apprenticeship program via a job fair and became very interested in how this partnership would benefit me to a job faster,” said Cayden Harris. 

“Apprenticeships are a great way for employers to recruit, develop, and train their future workforce,” stated Joy Fitts, KC Dean of Workforce Engagement and Industrial Careers.

The apprenticeship program allows students to enter the workforce in their chosen careers while also enrolled in college courses. Participants work part-time and attend class on days they are not working. This partnership benefits and allows the students to earn a wage, apply skills learned in the classroom in an actual job setting, receive on-the-job training from experienced company mentors, and graduate with little to no student debt upon completion of the program. 

“These apprenticeships are great for the college, employer, and the area.  They are going to keep our residents working in the area and help these young men achieve educational goals,” said KC Welding Technology Professor Cory Wellen. "As we continue working with local industry to fine-tune our program and develop these relationships, the whole area will benefit."

CF Fabricators is a contract production parts fabrication company out of Hoffman, IL, that supports a variety of industries, including commercial construction, cable tray products, and food/beverage services. 
“We’re very excited to work with Kaskaskia College,” said Brian Wort, president and owner of CF Fabricators. “We’re always looking to find a new source of employees to come in, and it’s great to have kids interested in the skills trade as it has become hard to find workers. To have students learn the skills and come into the shop to have hands-on experience is the future of our workforce.” 

“It’s been great that that KC was able to customize a program that can teach the skills to the new employees that will prep them for our industry,” stated Bryan McIntosh, director of operations at CF Fabricators. “

Kaskaskia College is an approved employer sponsor for the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Apprenticeship. KC also has registered apprenticeships with ConAgra in Centralia and North American Lighting in Salem for the industrial maintenance mechanic apprenticeship program.
The US Department of Labor Office of Apprenticeship has over 3,300 approved apprenticeship programs in a variety of occupations including but not limited to business management, information technology, certified nursing assistant, agriculture, truck driving, and automotive technician.  

Employers interested in learning more about apprenticeship opportunities for their business can contact Joy Fitts at 618-545-3113 or via email at jfitts@kaskaskia.edu.

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