Pioneer Group owner and Chairman Dave Archer has been saying for years the area needs more welders and pipefitters.Now that his prediction is coming true with the rising oil and natural gas industry, his company is taking matters into its own hands to develop that expanded workforce.Pioneer Group this month began a pre-apprenticeship program in partnership with the Washington County Career Center, in which half a dozen students are spending part of their day in the welding lab at Pioneer's Westview Avenue facility. The 16-week Senior Welding Apprenticeship Program benefits all parties involved by teaching the students needed skills in a workplace setting and helping Pioneer add quality employees for the long haul, said Pioneer chief operating officer Matt Hilverding."There's probably enough of this work for enough years they could make their whole career right here at home," he said. "That's our whole goal here is to develop employees that will become lifelong employees of our company."
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- By the numbers
- 80 to 100 - Number of welders Pioneer Group owner and Chairman Dave Archer says he could put to work today to meet the demands of the oil and gas industry.
- $20 million - Amount of business Archer said the company has turned away in the last two months due to not having enough people to meet the demand.
- v 6 - Number of Washington County Career Center students in the first class of a pre-apprentice program at Pioneer.
- $30 - Hourly rate, including benefits, the students could make as apprentices once they're certified.
- Source: Pioneer Group.
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