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Workforce Wednesday: Accelerated welding program helped Sam Thomet change his future

April 7, 2021, GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - GRCC Workforce Training programs provide in-demand skills leading to rewarding careers. Each Wednesday we’ll meet students who are heading down an educational pathway and changing their lives by earning occupational certificates.

Do you have what it takes to really make a life change? Sam Thomet does! Thomet is a GRCC alum and earned a degree in exercise science from Grand Valley State University. But he took an incredible chance and changed the trajectory of his career.

He was working at Hope Network as a rehab technician helping patients become more self-sufficient when he felt he needed a change. His started thinking maybe healthcare was not the career path for him.

As Thomet started thinking about what he wanted for his future, he remembered his grandfather and father welding on the family farm. He had a talk with his dad and went for it!

He enrolled in the GRCC Job Training Welding program in February and hasn’t looked back.

“There were a couple of things that just made welding seem like a good fit for me,” he said. “I really like the instant gratification of making a good weld. I also have discovered my personal strengths and weaknesses and even though, I like people, I’m happier working more independently.”

Thomet said GRCC’s 18-week program was attractive because he was able to quickly get the skills he needed.  

“I am looking forward to getting to work and finding out what type of career will develop,” he said. “It’s likely that I will come back to GRCC for additional education once I know specifically the direction I want to take my new welding career. I’m looking forward to my future!”

The GRCC Job Training Welding program has a reputation for graduates succeeding. The accelerated program focuses on entry level skills such as cutting, brazing and welding of various metal components to more advanced tasks such as MiG and TIG welding using aluminum and stainless steel.

This training provides students with an understanding of metallurgy, welding equipment maintenance and American Welding Society standards. Additionally, training focuses on important competencies in print reading, basic shop math, measurement tools and effective communication with others using today's welding terminology.

Anyone interested in gaining career skills through GRCC Workforce Training can connect via email at workforcetraining@grcc.edu, and by phone at (616) 234-3800. Additional information is at grcc.edu/programs/job-workforce-training.

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