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Manchester manufacturer Henderson Products teams up with NICC for welding training

Friday, July 30, 2021

Working closely with Harms on curriculum for the beginning- and intermediate-level courses brings new hires up to speed.

MANCHESTER—The best teachers and schools know that a combination of teaching methods – classroom lecture, hands-on training and learning by doing – make a more lasting impact on a student’s success.

That’s the winning formula Henderson Products Inc. is using to train new welding employees. Henderson designs and manufactures multi-purpose equipment for heavy-duty work trucks, and enrolls its employees in contracted three-week training courses developed with Northeast Iowa Community College and welding instructor, Seth Harms.

Working closely with Harms on curriculum for the beginning- and intermediate-level courses brings new hires up to speed. The combination of lecture, weld lab training and On-The-Job (OTJ) mentoring prepares employees for product manufacturing while ensuring Henderson’s high quality standards, said Tom Kenny, Henderson weld engineer.

“The employees enrolled in this training have been successful as we grow as a company. We approached NICC about the training because we needed welding instruction specific and focused to Henderson’ processes,” Kenny said, and explained that enrolling only four or five new people at one time is ideal for the employees to retain the information they learn. “This training has been great for Henderson. It allows us to develop talent from within and everyone gets the same training, attention and experience they need.”

As instructor, Harms believes that working closely with Henderson on the program’s curriculum is the key to meeting the company’s training needs. NICC hosts the training at the West Delaware High School Weld Lab.

“The struggle for companies that rely only on OTJ is the learning curve for new employees. That is an important part of Henderson’s training approach also, but it works even better when employees can ask questions and learn concepts in class and lab work,” Harms stated.

Harms explained that he is currently teaching courses for individuals who are at about the same level of welding ability. “Henderson Products and I have worked very closely on the teaching content. It’s important for instructors to meet the needs of local industry,” he said.

Manchester Center Director, Holly Rahe, views the partnership between the College and Henderson as the essential element that contributes to relevant, valuable instruction.

“We are so excited that Henderson Products chose Northeast Iowa Community College for their customized weld training needs. Our instructor, Seth Harms, has really worked with Henderson to lay out a plan for this training to meet their needs and expectations. The feedback from participants in these training sessions has been very positive,” Rahe said.

To learn more about contracted training options available through NICC, contact Rahe at (844) 642-2338, ext. 7101.