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UTTC is Accredited Welding Test Facility
February 11, 2016

United Tribes accredited as welding test site

A welding student at United Tribes Technical College, now an accredited test facility of the American Welding Society. United Tribes News photo DENNIS J. NEUMANN

BISMARCK (UTN) – United Tribes Technical College has earned a notable distinction from a world-wide industry organization. UTTC’s Welding Program is certified as an Accredited Test Facility of the American Welding Society (AWS).

“We’re very pleased to have the designation,” says Steve Shepherd, UTTC Campus Planner and the college’s former welding director. “It’s the kind of educational service that fits our mission and helps make our students more employable. And it’s an opportunity for the community because the industry is looking for qualified people.”

The tribal college at Bismarck earned the accreditation following a program audit last fall. A certified AWS inspector validated UTTC’s welding program for equipment in place, training provided, quality assurance, and following industry practices.

United Tribes is the only AWS accredited test facility in the state of North Dakota. There are 129 locations nationwide in the AWS system of accredited tests facilities. The organization is best known for its code and certification procedures, providing industry standards for welding and joining metals and other materials.

UTTC’s contact information appears on the society’s website and in listings of accredited test facilities in the United States circulated to the public.

The AWS certification is for three years, according to Bob Leingang, an AWS Certified Welding Inspector who directs the UTTC Welding Program.

“There are many different types of welding and therefore many different types of welding tests that individuals might need or want to gain certification for,” says Leingang. “The AWS audit guided us in looking closely at our offerings to see if they’re in line with industry standards, and we demonstrated they are.”

Welding is one of two workforce training programs currently offered by the college. Welding and Heavy Equipment Operation provide industry-approved training for high-demand jobs throughout the region.

Although the majority of students at UTTC are Native Americans, all of the college’s programs are open to students of any racial or ethnic background.

As a test facility, UTTC will coordinate performance-based testing in the AWS Certified Welder Program. The testing provides an opportunity for welders to deposit welds, demonstrate a skill level and thereby earn transferable credentials in a number of code-specific areas. The welds of those tested are inspected by an independent AWS Certified Welding Inspector and must satisfy national and international standards of acceptance.

UTTC’s new testing service will be provided for students enrolled in the college’s welding program. The college may also offer testing for students from welding programs at other colleges and tribal colleges. The location may also function as a test site for industry professionals who wish to continue or widen their level of certification.

UTTC’s welding test center is located in the Workforce Training area of the college’s Skill Center Building. The AWS accreditation also allows the flexibility for testing off-site.

United Tribes charges a fee for non-UTTC students to take the test. Current and future UTTC Welding students will have the opportunity to take the AWS Welding Certification test upon successful completion of welding courses.

For more information about UTTC’s Welding Testing Site contact Bob Leingang 701-255-3285 x 1551, bleingang@uttc.edu.

United Tribes is listed on the American Welding Society website as the only AWS accredited test facility in North Dakota.
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