Officials with the Refrigeration School Inc. announced it will offer a welding specialist certification in Phoenix conjunction with Oklahoma-based Tulsa Welding School.

The school, which says it’s the largest HVAC construction school in the country, will have capacity for 120 students to meet the region’s growing demand for welding workers.

“Since 1965, we have trained more than 10,000 students for sustainable HVACR careers at RSI. As we continue to see the need for quality, skilled trade workers increase both locally and across the country, we are thrilled to expand our offerings to include welding,” said David Eaker, president at RSI. “Students interested in pursuing a welding career at RSI can expect the same leading, educational approach we have implemented for more than 50 years — hands-on training, taught by highly-qualified instructors with a strong emphasis on technical competencies.”

The welding program will use the Tulsa school’s curriculum to teach techniques such as torch cutting, alloy welding and safety.

Like HVAC, the welding industry is facing a shortage of qualified applicants, officials said. A recent survey commissioned by RSI said that just 3.8 percent of high school students planned to enroll in a trade school after graduation and 22 percent said they would consider a skilled trades career.

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