In an effort to minimize the increasing labor gap in manufacturing careers, GFS partnered with area high schools to begin a welding mentorship program. It didn’t take long for GFS welders Tim Urness and Corey Olson to jump on the opportunity to give back to the community and provide local high school students with an opportunity to learn from and work alongside industry professionals.

Both Tim and Corey began at GFS as Welder Is with little experience in the field. Today, both work as Welder IIIs and share many years of experience with GFS. Tim and Corey shared the skills and knowledge they have accumulated over the years with the next generation of welders — Tim at Osseo-Fairchild High School, and Corey at Alma-Center High School. They spent a semester alongside both schools’ welding students, giving them industry skills and experience beyond what the traditional classroom can provide.

“Seeing students open up and become willing to learn and adjust to new techniques I was teaching them was really neat,” said Corey. “I have enjoyed everything about my career in welding, and being able to pass my skills on to eager students was a rewarding experience.”

“My advice to students on their journey toward a career in welding is to go to college and get all the education you possibly can,” Tim said. “They should also research and explore all types of welding-related career opportunities before settling on one.”

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