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Workforce Wednesday: Andrea Ziebarth thrives in hands-on welding classes

June 9, 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.

Andrea Ziebarth is a 2020 graduate of Coopersville High School. She did well, but just couldn’t figure out what she wanted to do after graduation -- until her guidance counselor sent her an email about the GRCC Welding Job Training program.

“I saw that the Job Training program is only 18 weeks and I was like, ‘That sounds great!’ Looked into it more and found out that that the industry is looking for women welders. It kind of surprised my parents but they think it’s cool now!”

Now that Ziebarth is halfway through the program, she knows that she made the right choice.

“I really love how it’s all at your own pace. I’m pretty far ahead and that feels good. Nate Haney, our instructor, is great and gives us lots of pointers.”

The GRCC Job Training Welding program meets for 18 weeks for 34 hours per week. The program offers small class sizes, hands-on learning and job placement assistance.

This program is highly regarded by employers as a top trainer in welding and fabrication. Job developers are ready to help you with the job search process. Graduates are ready to begin a career as a welder, cutter or brazer – with the skills to meet the needs of local companies.

Get trained from the best! Instructor Haney holds a Bachelor of Science in Welding Engineering Technology from Ferris State University and is an American Welding Society Certified Welding Inspector and Certified Welding Educator.

Students learn: shielded metal arc welding (arc/stick welding), gas metal arc welding (metal inert gas/wire welding), gas tungsten arc welding (heli-arc/tungsten inert gas welding), oxy-fuel welding (gas welding), cutting, brazing, blueprint reading, mathematics, metallurgy, problem solving, teamwork and communication skills.

According to the Michigan Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives, there will be 34.7% job growth from 2012 to 2022.

Ziebarth’s future is already moving forward.

“My goal right now is the get a good paying job and move out on my own. That would be great! Eventually, if my employer wants me to get more training, I would totally be up for that.”

Anyone interested in gaining career skills through GRCC Workforce Training can connect via email at, and by phone at (616) 234-3800. Additional information is at

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