New welding program in Johnstown

Local News

A new job training program is sparking a career interest for Johnstown locals in need of work.

Zachary and Jacob Forgas have more in common than just their genes. These twins are both welders but they’re new to the profession.

“We were just cooks at different places, waiters,” said Zach Forgas. “Typical young people jobs.”

“Going from not knowing what you’re doing to working just in five weeks, it was pretty crazy,” said Jacob Forgas.

The Forgas brothers learned to weld this year, thanks to a program through JARI.

Because of that program’s success, this year, the state Department of Community & Economic Development (DCED) awarded JARI $150,000 to launch another short-term welding training for the unemployed & veterans.

“We couldn’t throw enough dollars at this program,” said DCED representative Jennifer Leinbach.

After the five-week, 225-hour program, 40 students will have the skills they need to get a job as a welder.

Somerset Welding & Steel’s Joe Caldrone, said about 150 jobs aren’t getting filled because of a lack of skilled workers.

“Employers don’t have the time or the money or the people available to do that training,” said Caldrone.

Caldrone & the Forgas brothers said this short-term welding training will employ locals and help local businesses.

“They can work for the remainder of their working career,” said Caldrone, “sustain a family and help grow our area.”

“It may be difficult, but in the end, it’ll make it all worth it,” said Jacob Forgas.

“I’m actually pretty excited about it,” said Zach Forgas, “because it is a very good opportunity for 40 more kids to get a good start.”

You can still apply through JARI for the welding training program, which starts in October, but there is a waiting list.

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