Lack of qualified workers prompts opening of welding, pipefittin - WFLA News Channel 8

Lack of qualified workers prompts opening of welding, pipefitting school

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Some local industries are having a hard time filling positions. Wikimedia Commons photo Some local industries are having a hard time filling positions. Wikimedia Commons photo
Some local industries are having a hard time finding workers. In Tampa, the Hendry Corporation has opened a training school to teach potential employees the skilled trades of pipefitting and welding.

Joseph Cimino, who is General Manager for the Hendry Corporation, says the school opened because they've been having difficulty attracting qualified applicants.

"It's wide open for anybody who wants to come out to the shipyard and learn a craft. We actually have the A.W. Hendry Welding School, where we are training individuals to be welders and ship fitters, something that we are sorely in need of right now," said Cimino.

Hendry just christened a new $3.5 million drydock which will provide 48 more full-time jobs.

"The type of jobs is welders and fitters, machinists, sand blasters and painters and we really are in dire need of these type of individuals to come into the shipyards and forge a career here," said Cimino.

Two years ago, Manrique Galardo began working at the Hendry Corporation as a general laborer.

He was among the first to go through the pipefitting school at Hendry.

Galardo says the skilled trade has increased his pay and changed his lifestyle.

"I'm proud of this company, I'm so happy," said Galardo.

If pipefitting and welding careers do not appeal to you, other industries are hiring.

Dayle Greene of Career Source Tampa Bay says there are more jobs available now than there have been in several years.

"The jobs may not be paying as much as they were before, but there are plenty of jobs available, the service industry, restaurants, hospitality, you name it, white collar, blue collar, no collar, skilled, semi-skilled, professional, para-professional. The jobs are available," said Greene.

The employment picture is getting better in Hillsborough County. The unemployment rate is currently 6.3 percent. That's lower than the 7.6 percent this time last year, according to statistics from Career Source Tampa Bay.

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