West Delaware Launches Apprenticeship Program

Welding teacher Seth Harms shows Governor Kim Reynolds the welding lab at West Delaware High School.

Emily Klostermann

Welding teacher Seth Harms shows Governor Kim Reynolds the welding lab at West Delaware High School.

Emily Klostermann, Contents Editor

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Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds traveled to West Delaware High School on Sept. 13 to promote the newly formed welding apprenticeship program.

She (Governor Reynolds) really is passionate about our program here at West Delaware,” welding teacher Seth Harms said. “She wanted to check it out and hear from our sponsors.”

The program allows students to work at local businesses to earn their welding certificate while in high school. Students will complete 450 hours in the classroom and up to 2,000 hours working at Henderson’s, Paladin, or XL Trailers throughout two years.

Welding student Bo Juran said, “It is a great opportunity to get into a factory job faster and give me more experience.”

It caught me off guard when I was asked to speak in front of the governor. I was honored.”

— Bo Juran (12)

Welding students who are interested in the program must complete an application and be selected to participate.

Interested students will need to have some welding classes in their future, along with a great attitude and work ethic,” Harms said. “We will also look at the student’s grades and attendance from the previous year.”

Currently three students and three businesses are involved in the program, but Harms has plans to expand the program.

We have had more companies reach out to us showing interest as well,” Harms said. “Potentially, we could have up to 20 students that have an opportunity to do this in the future.”

Accepted students will begin work in early Oct. They will work on average 15 hours a week during the school year and 40 hours in the summer.

“If a student is involved in extracurricular activities, they can still be involved in the program,” Harms said. “But it will not work if the student is a four-sport athlete.”

While working, the students could potentially earn $30,000.

Harms said, “The money aspect is great, but the learning aspect of the program is priceless.”