Sparks draw in potential welders - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Sparks draw in potential welders


OWATONNA, Minn. (KTTC)--  Sparks were flying Friday at Huber Supply. The family owned business in Owatonna celebrated its second-annual welding expo.

It gave all those attending a chance to get their hands a little dirty too.

Cody Huber of Huber supply says, "They're able to try it before they buy it and that's a huge deal. When you're able to pick up a tool you're more apt to buy it afterwards."

As a show of appreciation to the customers lunch and entertainment was provided.The Medford and Owatonna Fire departments competed to see who could cut a car in half the fastest. An an army tank was smashing cars.

There were also a number of contests with prizes. A popular one was the smith-cutting machine. Whoever could cut a four-inch bar of stock metal fastest won a free torch set.

The demonstrations, door prizes and hands-on experience drew in the need for potential welders. Right now half the welding force is over the age of 50. 

According to the American welding society nearly 200-thousand new welders will be needed by 2019 to replace retirees and meet rising demand.

Expos like this might build interest in the welder's skill and that may be crucial to the survival of trade here in the U.S.

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