July 5, 2023, GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Zach Adsit had always regretted not pursuing welding any further than high school.
"Returning to welding has been a remarkable journey for me,” he said. “I had some previous experience my high school's automotive program and I grew up welding with my dad. Then an unexpected opportunity came my way when my mom received an email notification from GRCC about the Metallica Scholars Welding program. I signed up right away.”
From the moment Adsit filled out the paperwork through the interview process, he felt a sense of excitement and anticipation.
“Now, I find myself immersed in the class, grateful for the chance to rekindle my passion for welding,” said Adsit, who currently works as the maintenance person at a trailer park. “I've been actively applying for jobs, and this class has opened up the possibility of joining a union in the future.”
The GRCC Metallica Scholars Welding Bootcamp offers students the opportunity to gain skills for entry level welding positions. It is a short-term program to get welders work in West Michigan, with the goal of helping these students grow into apprenticeships or other learning opportunities within the welding field.
“What I love most about the class is the ever-changing nature of each day,” Adsit said. “The projects and tasks assigned to us ensure that every day brings something new and intriguing. Unlike spending long hours in a traditional classroom, I thrive as a hands-on learner, and the lab environment is a perfect fit for me.”
The techniques taught through this program are different from what Adsit learned in high school, broadening his understanding and skillset.
“Initially, I was quite nervous about stepping into this class, unsure of my abilities,” he said. “However, after just a couple of weeks, the feedback I received from the instructors was immensely encouraging. Hearing them say, 'You're doing really good,' was music to my ears and boosted my confidence.”
In moments when Adsit faced challenges, he appreciated having both the instructor Nick Pinckney and his assistant, Brianna Lampe, always ready to assist and guide him.
“Throughout the initial weeks, Nick guided us through the setup process, teaching us the slight differences involved in different welds and ensuring we understood the equipment and procedures,” Adsit said.
“Overall, my experience in this welding class has been rewarding beyond measure. It has reignited my passion, provided invaluable hands-on learning, and allowed me to grow as a welder. I am grateful for this opportunity and eagerly look forward to further honing my skills in the captivating world of welding."
To qualify for the program, participants must be 18 years of age, have a high school diploma or GED, and be able to work in the United States. For more information go to grcc.edu/metallica.