Last updated on April 18, 2014 at 15:51 EDT

Mich.-Built “Careers in Welding” Trailer, Promoting Future Job Opportunities, Heading to the State of the State Address

January 13, 2012

MADISON HEIGHTS, Mich., Jan. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — When Governor Rick Snyder gives his State of the State Address on Jan. 18 at the State Capitol, lawmakers in Lansing will see a 53-foot-long, rolling reminder of what many agree should be at the top of everyone’s agenda: jobs for Michigan.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120113/DE35688 )

Built in Michigan by Madison Heights-based MRA experiential tours & equipment, a pioneer in mobile experiential tour solutions for more than 20 years, the “Careers in Welding” trailer is an educational outreach program for the over 69,000 member American Welding Society (AWS) that will travel the country, inspiring and educating young people about careers in welding.

While some Americans might view welders as background players in the larger construction and manufacturing landscape, in reality, their skills are at the heart of everything. Their touch spans from the nation’s transportation infrastructure to the buildings, vehicles, heavy machinery and equipment that power the entire economy.

AWS wants to send an important message: the U.S. faces a dire shortage in this critical profession that could put the nation at a competitive disadvantage. They also want to stress that welders are well-paid, highly specialized workers with great opportunities for career advancement. The association estimates that by the year 2019, the number of welders in the United States will fall nearly 240,000 short of the demand.

The 53-foot, single-expandable trailer, which features 650 square feet of exhibit space, first appeared at the November 2011 FABTECH trade show in Chicago. Its visit to the State Capitol marks its first public appearance prior to its road tour of 18-24 weeks in 2012 that will target events with youth between the ages of 13 and 19 and adults searching for a second career.

The trailer will be parked outside the Capitol Building, at the corner of West Ottawa Street and Capitol Avenue. The public, press, and policy makers in Lansing are invited to enjoy the interactive experience between 9am and 6pm.

The trailer’s main attractions can be found in the five Lincoln Electric VRTEX® 360 Virtual Reality Arc Welding Training stations. The VRTEX® 360 feeds computer-generated data to a virtual welding gun and helmet equipped with internal monitors. The participant is able to practice welding in virtual environments, including simulated welding-booth training environments or field-welding applications. The simulator also has a scoring component that awards each “welder” with a value for his or her weld. More information on the VRTEX® 360 is available at http://www.VRTEX360.com

Lincoln Electric, a Cleveland, OH based company, is the world leader in the design, development and manufacture of arc welding equipment and consumables, and is the primary sponsor of the “Careers in Welding” trailer.

“Welding is central to the business of building MRA’s mobile experiential tours, so the American Welding Society and this educational outreach effort are near and dear to us,” said Harry Kurtz, MRA’s president and CEO. “We’re pleased to help promote these vital career opportunities-which can be very lucrative-to help build a better future for America.”

MRA demonstrated its shared commitment to AWS’s goals by bringing in Alex Pazkowski and Brandon Woodman, two welding students from Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor, Mich., as interns to work on the trailer and other projects. In recognition of their efforts, Kurtz presented $500 scholarships to each of them at FABTECH.

MRA’s state-of-the-art facility houses not only Corporate Sales, Marketing, Logistics and Account Services Departments, but also Trailer Manufacturing, Engineering and Fabrication Services. It’s truly a “one-stop shop,” a business philosophy that translates into a higher level of service for MRA’s clients. Its customers have included major trade associations, government agencies, nonprofits, Fortune 500 companies, and cultural institutions. Visit MRA online at www.goMRA.com.

You can view videos about the trailer and “Careers in Welding” at http://bit.ly/uZsBac and http://bit.ly/yC0AqD. High resolution photos are also available at http://bit.ly/xdSlrk and http://bit.ly/yHfUBe.

SOURCE MRA experiential tours and equipment

Source: PR Newswire