Callaway Chamber of Commerce opens Workforce Development Training Center

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FULTON - Hopeful participants filled the Callaway Chamber of Commerce for the opening of the Workforce Development Training Center Monday.

The training center started with a $341,000 grant given to the Central Workforce Development Board in March.

The center has classes aimed to develop its workforce. The first class allows 10 adult and 10 high school age participants. 

The first development class will help teach participants how to weld, using two VRTEX 360 virtual welding machines.

"These are virtual reality welding machines ... to teach them the fundamentals of welding before they actually go into the workplace," Executive Director Tamara Tateosian said.

Participants must complete 120 hours on the machine to start their apprenticeship at one of the five welding companies helping with the program.

Tateosian said they decided to start with welding classes due to the amount of open welding positions in Callaway County. 

However, they don't plan on stopping at welding. 

"We will follow up with things like blueprint readings, maybe even new-hire orientation, do some construction training here at the site. Really, the sky is the limit for us," Tateosian said. 

Applications are still out and the chamber aims to finalize the 20 participants by the end of the week.

The chamber of commerce hopes to begin its first class in the middle the December.