More than 30 welding students
in the Career Academy received a special treat during class, brand new
steel-toed, waterproof work boots retailing at around $100.
“I think it’s cool that
Kawasaki would do this for people like us,” said Marcus Kastanek, a junior from
Southeast High School in the welding pathway at the Career Academy.
Kawasaki Motors in Lincoln
has donated boots to the welding students at the Career Academy for the past
“Kids need protective toes and
boots that are electrically safe, so we thought it would be a good way to
support them,” said Kevin Mattran, the Workplace Learning and Performance
Specialist at Kawasaki in Lincoln. “When they graduate and go into the
workforce, they will need some steel-toed boots.”
Mattran said there is a great
need for experienced welders in the workforce. At Kawasaki alone, there are
around 50 open welding positions. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor
Statistics, the need for welders is expected to grow by 26 percent by 2020.
“It’s hard for us to keep up
with the fabrication needs,” Mattran said. “Welding is an area with the greatest
need in the workforce.”
Welding is one of 16
different pathways in the Career Academy, a joint venture between Southeast
Community College and Lincoln Public Schools. The goal is to provide academic
and real world experiences to high school juniors and seniors through high
school and dual credit courses.