3i Show prepares next generation

DODGE CITY, Kan. (KSNW) — The 3i Show, that kicked off today, focuses on the newest techniques and technology in the ag business. This year, organizers also want to make sure the next generation is prepared.

Welding is one industry that desperately needs workers. In the next decade, the industry expects a deficit of about 350,000 welders. That’s why the Welding Society’s trailer set up a virtual-reality welding simulator today – hoping students will check it out and consider the industry.

It’s a mission that has Daniel Stopnick traveling across the states.

“To help with the shortage, we’re bringing the trailer around the country, again, to talk to students and see if we can generate some new interest with the youth about welding,” said Stopnick.

Dodge City Community College’s welding program is also helping to encourage involvement.

“We’ve had some general interest and some feedback about careers in welding, and especially, what the program is like at Dodge City,” Stopnick said.

That’s what organizers and teachers want students to do – ask questions to help them figure out their options. Students also learned what skills are needed to be successful in the workplace, through activities led by the community college and K-State.

“This is that first step into getting them started, that’s what’s going to help you and set yourself apart when that time comes to get your job,” said Rhonda Weil, from Dodge City Community College.

It  may be a day off from school for these students, but it was still a day filled with lessons.

“They can teach us, you know, how to be responsible of ourselves…you know, get good jobs,” said Gustavo Alvarado, a student at Seward County Community College.