Manitowoc launching welding apprenticeships

Staff Writer
Echo Pilot

Manitowoc in Shady Grove is launching a new apprenticeship program at to help certify welders in Pennsylvania

“Shady Grove and the surrounding Pennsylvania region is an integral part of Manitowoc’s success,” said Barry Pennypacker, president and CEO of The Manitowoc Co. Inc.. “Many of our skilled workers, and a majority of our employees in general, come from the region. This new program reinforces our commitment to providing jobs and stimulating the local economy, enabling us to provide the most innovative and reliable cranes on the market.”

The program was recently approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor. The company expects to have it up and running in August in conjunction with Lincoln Electric Company and Hagerstown Community College. It will include paths for structural welder and welder fabricator certifications and will help apprentices meet training requirements to obtain a full-time welding position in Pennsylvania.

The move reflects the company’s commitment to further building the U.S. skilled workforce, according to a Manitowoc news release.

Manufacturing will leave an estimated 2.4 million jobs unfilled between 2018 and 2028, a study by Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute predicts, and this shortfall could risk $2.5 trillion in manufacturing output. Seventy-five percent of construction companies surveyed by the Associated General Contractors of America reported difficulties in filling skilled positions, the news release said. 

For its part, Manitowoc is invested in building a program for the development of welders in Pennsylvania. The company relies on skilled welders for the creation of its industry-leading Manitowoc crawler cranes, Grove mobile cranes and National Crane boom trucks that are all manufactured in Shady Grove. 

“With the launch of the welder apprenticeship program, we hope to address one of the toughest challenges our industry faces: attracting skilled workers,” said Pennypacker. “We’re creating a career path for potential employees into our company, because having trained welders helps us produce durable and reliable cranes.” 

This program should also help boost economic activity in Shady Grove, where the company has a significant manufacturing operation. Manitowoc relies on the top-notch Pennsylvania workforce to manufacture its cranes, and wants to in turn invest in the region, the news release said. 

Pennsylvania has already seen the benefits of instituting such programs. Industry has worked with government to create the state’s first farming apprenticeship, open a new apprenticeship center and advocate for sweeping changes to its budget for workforce development. Manufacturers there lobbied to lower the legal apprenticeship age below 18 to attract younger students.