NCC Welding Apprenticeship Program

It is predicted that 3.5 million U.S. manufacturing jobs will need to be filled over the next decade. The current skills gap affects manufacturers’ ability to meet customer demand and implement new technology. It is estimated that this skills gap will cause 2 million manufacturing jobs to be vacant. Northwest Iowa Community College, the Northwest Iowa Manufacturing Sector and the Northwest Area Education Agency have come up with a solution for this skills gap in Northwest Iowa – the Northwest Iowa Best Welding Apprenticeship Program.

The Registered Apprenticeship System provides opportunity for workers seeking high-skilled, high-paying jobs and employers seeking to build a qualified workforce. Registered Apprenticeships combine on-the-job learning with related classroom instruction. The key to a successful apprenticeship is developing a pathway that ensures the development of the skills necessary to be successful in a specific career field. This pathway involves both academic and career centered competencies. NCC, the Northwest Iowa Manufacturing Sector and the Northwest Area Education Agency have created a framework that students, schools and businesses will benefit from.

The benefits for students who complete the Northwest Iowa Best Welding Apprenticeship are extensive. Upon successful completion of the program, students will have earned the following:

  • High school diploma
  • Registered Apprenticeship Certificate
  • Certification from the American Welding Society
  • College credit towards NCC’s Welding Diploma/Associate of Applied Science degree programs
  • Cost of the college courses covered by concurrent enrollment
  • A paid position while attending NCC
  • A guaranteed job following graduation
  • The option to transfer to a four-year college or university to complete a Bachelor’s degree

Students are eligible to begin the related technical instruction as early as their junior year of high school. Due to NCC’s concurrent enrollment offerings, students are not required to take extra courses or spend extra time in the classroom. Students complete related technical instruction at NCC in the morning and high school graduation requirements in the afternoon. The summer between junior and senior year includes learning hands-on skills and competencies through full-time employment with an area manufacturing company. During the senior year, students spend half the day at their high school and the remaining half at their employer.
Finally, the summer following high school graduation, students complete final competencies and apprenticeship requirements through full-time employment.

Upon completion of the Northwest Iowa Best Welding Apprenticeship, students have the choice to continue full-time employment with an area manufacturing company or to finish the requirements for NCC’s Welding Diploma or Associate of Applied Science degree. A student could also choose to tackle both. No matter which option a student chooses, the program will set students up for success in the manufacturing industry. The Northwest Iowa Best Welding Apprenticeship is a solution that will help to solve the skills gap and manufacturing shortage in Northwest Iowa.

If you are interested in learning more about the Northwest Iowa Best Welding Apprenticeship please contact Sarah Breems-Diekevers at or Jason Anderson at