With opportunity on the rise, RTC is the right place to be.
KOMO Radio’s “Puget Sound Now” featured the Welding Program and opportunities at the college during a segment on the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act that will support communities across the country with investments in roads, bridges, and more. Host Bill Schwartz visited Renton Technical College’s welding program to learn more about growth in the industry and its future leaders.
Welding instructor Elisa Stuart, an RTC graduate herself (‘15), shared her experiences with the program. Stuart entered RTC to complete the Automotive Technology program. When she took welding as an additive, everything changed.
“I took welding and just fell in love with it,” Stuart said. “My own personal model is anyone can be a welder. It's one of those skills where if you love working with your hands, then come on by.”
Stuart has seen the field expand since the pandemic began, “There's been this incredible boom in welding jobs. Everything from building bridges to construction to nuclear. The shipyard is going crazy right now. I mean, there's just there's just so much work out right there for not just welders, but also skilled tradespeople.”
RTC student and U.S. Navy veteran Michael Galvan relished the opportunity to work with his hands, and the welding program was the right fit. “It was Renton Technical College that really stuck out to me... You come here to learn a trade, a skill, a profession, and then you find yourself in that field. I'd like to believe if you put yourself out there and you network, you can definitely set yourself up for success once you graduate.”
“So the big sell again, if I'm not a traditional college student, I want a good-paying career out there, this is the place to come?” Schwartz asked. “Oh yeah,” Stuart replied. “If you want a good-paying career working with your hands and learning a new skill, where there's a really high demand, welding is the place to be.”
Listen to the full interview [Interview starts at 13:30]:
Full audio transcript: PDF Transcript of Puget Sound Now radio coverage of RTC.
The welding program at RTC prepares welders for most phases of the industry. It combines classroom time with practical experience in the most common manual and semi-automatic welding processes: OFW (gas), SMAW, GMAW, FCAW, GTAW, SAW (arc), MIG, and TIG. Graduates can earn certifications from the state and from the Washington Association of Building Officials.