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NMDWS: Twenty Students Successfully Graduate PESCO Welding Apprenticeship Program

on August 11, 2019 - 7:33am
ALBUQUERQUE A two-phase earn-while-you-learn Welding Boot Camp and Apprenticeship Program in Farmington has been implemented with 20 individuals successfully completing the first five weeks.
This program was made possible in partnership between the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions (NMDWS), San Juan College, Process Equipment & Service Company, Inc. (PESCO), and the New Mexico Workforce Connection.


The first phase of the program consisted of a five-week Welder Boot Camp, put on by PESCO and San Juan College, that teaches basic welding skills, safety procedures, soft skills, and company policies regarding the production of large oilfield equipment.

“San Juan College is committed to the development of strategies that deliver programs that are responsive to the needs and demands of our regional employers, “ Dean Lorenzo Reyes said. “We look forward to continuing working with our local, regional, and state partners to provide training and educational opportunities to adults, youth, and individuals with barriers to employment who need training or retraining to equip them with the necessary skills for occupations that are on demand.”
Starting day one, participants earned a wage of $10 an hour while they received in-classroom training. Upon completion of the Boot Camp, students will receive a salary increase and start entry level welding at the PESCO facility in Farmington. After that, they will continue to be mentored and trained on the job with periodic evaluations conducted to assess their progress to the end of their 90-day Apprenticeship program.
“PESCO is proud to be able to bring such an impactful program as the Welder Boot Camp Apprenticeship Program to reality through its partnership with San Juan College and the State of New Mexico’s Department of Workforce Solutions,” said PESCO Business Development Manager John Byrom. “The college provided invaluable program support, instruction and the facility, while the state has committed funding to enable us to provide a basic wage to the students while they were taking the class. This provided a huge opportunity for students who would otherwise not be qualified to work at PESCO and gives PESCO a shot in the arm of nearly 20 new welders.”
The New Mexico Workforce Connection Center in Farmington assisted with screening and recruitment for the program, working closely with PESCO to ensure the proper qualifications and requirements were met. Under the purview of the State Workforce Agency (NMDWS), the Northern New Mexico Workforce Development Board provided Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) funding to cover the tuition fees of all participants and covered 50% of their wages for the first 90 days.
“This has been an amazing partnership that provides an opportunity to develop skilled workers right here in New Mexico,” said NMDWS Cabinet Secretary Bill McCamley. “As the agency in charge of workforce pathways in the state, we are working to fulfill Governor Lujan Grisham’s vision of a workforce plan that assures businesses they can obtain the skilled workforce they need, and in turn, provide workers with jobs that will allow them to take care of themselves and their families.”
Information on apprenticeship programs available across New Mexico can be found on the NMDWS website at