StrataTech Education Group announced the opening of the newest Tulsa Welding School (TWS) campus in Irving, Texas. Dallas Metro is the fourth Tulsa Welding School campus and the fifth trade school for StrataTech (which also includes The Refrigeration School, Inc. in Phoenix). The Dallas Metro campus will launch their Professional Welder and Refrigeration Technologies programs beginning in August in addition to an all-new Electrical Lineworker program.
Tulsa Welding School is a leader in skilled trades education and has provided students with hands-on, instructor-guided training for more than 70 years. This is the second TWS location in Texas, joining Tulsa Welding School & Technology Center in Houston. Together, the two schools will work with students, workforce and employers across the state of Texas to address a national skilled labor shortage and help meet the growing demand in the state.
“We are thrilled to expand Tulsa Welding School into the Dallas Metro area,” said Mary Kelly, President, and CEO of StrataTech. “Texas is ripe with opportunity for skilled tradespeople, and we are looking forward to providing greater access to education and resources needed to train to become skilled trade professionals. We are focused on empowering our students to change their lives and make an impact in the communities they serve.”
The Professional Welder program at TWS Dallas Metro will train students in the skills needed for entry-level employment in the welding industry. Students will receive hands-on training in structural welding, flux core welding and pipe welding from instructors who have years of professional experience in the industry. The Refrigeration Technologies program trains students in the fundamentals of heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration technologies (HVAC/R). This hands-on training program prepares HVAC/R students for opportunities as entry-level positions in refrigeration service and maintenance. Both the Professional Welder and Refrigeration Technologies programs can be completed in as few as seven months.
TWS Dallas Metro is the first TWS campus to include StrataTech’s new 15-week Electrical Lineworker program. The Electrical Lineworker program will train students for entry level employment in the field of utility power distribution construction, maintenance, troubleshooting and repair. In addition to pole construction and climbing courses, students can receive optional certifications in bucket rescue, pole-top rescue and first aid, and earn their OSHA 10 card.
Demand for skilled trades workers is at an all-time high and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts an expected average of about 723,400 openings per year based on growth and replacement needs within the construction and extraction industries. Texas also has the highest employment level for welders, cutters, soldering and brazing. The mean annual salary for a welder in the Dallas-Fort Worth area is $50,800* and is one of the four largest markets in the country for electrician employment.**
This new campus will not only help address the ongoing demand for skilled tradespeople in the state, but also provides local employers the opportunity to reskill and upskill their workforce through StrataTech’s StrataSkills program. StrataTech launched StrataSkills in 2022 to serve as a nationwide workforce development and retention solution for companies that employ electricians, welders, and HVAC/R technicians. The program was designed to help solve challenges that employers within the industry face, including upskilling, retaining current employees, and training new hires. TWS Dallas Metro will offer short-term, customized training programs to Dallas area manufacturers, fabricators, and construction worker employers to better upskill the existing regional workforce.
As part of StrataTech’s commitment to leading the digital transformation and providing more equitable access to skilled trades education, TWS Dallas Metro will also feature OcuWeld, a first-of-its-kind virtual reality welding simulator currently available at all other TWS campuses. This technology allows students to learn and practice instructor-designed welding skills outside of the classroom. Students who enroll at TWS Dallas Metro will receive an Oculus Quest 2 set pre-loaded with both OcuWeld or InterPlay, a virtual reality program specifically designed to train HVAC students.
“Tulsa Welding School welcomes students from all walks of life, whether they’re just now entering the workforce or are lifelong veterans of the industry seeking to refine their skills,” said James Cooper, Campus President of TWS Dallas Metro. “We support our students throughout their entire education journey, from enrollment, through graduation and into their profession. We do so by staying attuned to the industry’s technological advancements – such as virtual reality – to ensure graduates are equipped with the skills to deliver on that first day on the job.”
Enrollment for TWS Dallas Metro’s initial programs is now open. The first Professional Welder and Electrical Lineworker programs will begin Aug. 14, with Refrigeration Technologies starting Aug. 21. The school will host open house events on July 26 and 29 for prospective students. For more information about programs and enrollment, visit www.tws.edu/dallas.