Highlands College allies with SeaCast to create welding program


BUTTE, Mont. - Highlands College in Butte has allied with local manufacturer SeaCast to create a one-semester aerospace welding program.

SeaCast is donating $35,000 to Highlands College for new equipment and upgrades to the school's welding shop.

The company manufactures precision jet engine parts under a partnership with General Electric's aerospace division.

SeaCast has been highlighted as a strong Butte business that is expected to create jobs.

Highlands College Dean John Garic said the donation comes on top of a $450,000 grant from the Department of Labor, and the school will hire a specialized welding instructor and collaborate with SeaCast to write the curriculum.

Garic told us it will give a big boost to the region and the 75 percent of students from the five-county area around Butte.

"This partnership with SeaCast will allow more of our students who live and work in Butte, who love Butte -- and this is a wonderful town to live in -- it'll allow them to stay here," said Garic.

Welding jobs are in demand and the need is expected to grow.

We checked in with the Butte-Dillon Job Service; as of today there are 20 open welding jobs in Butte-Silver Bow.
The Department of Labor projects statewide 45 welding jobs will open each year for the next 10 years -- 32 jobs filling positions that already exist and 13 new positions.

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