P.O. Box 241, 20902 Washington Avenue, Onaway MI 49765



Cohort 3

May 2015 - August 2015

Number of Graduates: 13

Final Integration Project: “Lil Mac” Bridge

Students completed a 15 week course of study with intense hands on training.

The class participated in a integration project to test their skills and competencies in welding and fabricating.  “Lil Mac,” a small scale version of the Mackinac Bridge, was created for a client for a children’s park. Cohort 3 enjoyed the experience of re-creating a Northern Michigan icon.  Lil Mac is 34’long and 14 ½’ tall. Approximate weight is 4500lbs.


IAI Alumni: Where are they now? 
Michael Rocheleau, Cohort Three

Mike Rocheleau is a Cohort 3 Alumni! IAI was fortunate to have Mike return in 2017 as a crucial asset to our Team.  Mike became IAI’s Manual Machining Instructor holding 8 NIMS (National Institute of Metalworking Skills) credentials. He is also IAI’s Welding Lab Assistant and Institute Maintenance. There is not a task that Mike can’t complete! In addition to his duties at IAI, Mike explored his creative side of welding by designing crib doors personalized with each team members name! He has also created tables made solely from Jane Ann IV scrap which are for sale at the Institute.

“Mike is the definition of an all-around “Utility Man”, he has the skills to think it, plan it, and create it. Mike’s machining skills, accompanied with his welding knowledge, along with his get “R” done work ethic makes Mike an exceptionally valued team member. Mike truly embodies every quality of a “Noble Worker”. Everyone at IAI appreciates all that you do and are glad you have chosen Industrial Arts Institute as career path!”
                                                        -Mark Dombroski, IAI Executive Director



“The Industrial Arts Institute was one of the greatest opportunities that has ever been put in front of me. I walked in nervous not knowing what to expect but it turned out to be one of the greatest things I could have done to begin my career in Welding. The program exceeded my expectations in so many ways. From day one we were welding and fabricating and I was never bored or at a loss for something to do. The teachers and staff are what made the program what it is today. I would recommend this Institute to anyone who is looking for a change and an experience that will last a lifetime.” — Hunter Stinger



Chase Griffin

Student Testimonial: 

“The decision whether to pursue traditional college is a life decision that many young adults, such as myself are battling with today. When a student graduates High School, attending a university style setting is becoming the normality of today’s society, and unfortunately is almost frowned upon if one chooses to not further their education. I never was at the top of the class, but never seemed to find myself at the bottom either, thus, I always seemed to just “Go with the Flow”, so it was natural to seek a community college setting after high school graduation. I know for myself personally, the first few years of college I found myself lost, and almost feeling out of place due to the fact that I could not find a direction where I was completely engaged and interested in, and quite frankly, I think more and more kids are facing the same issue, but just are not willing to admit it. After numerous attempts at trying to find a path that fit my “Gearhead” lifestyle, I stumbled across IAI, with help from some friends who had previously taken the course. While still a bit hesitant the first week of classes at Industrial Arts Institute, I quickly realized that committing to attending this technical school was one of the best choices I had made. What sets IAI apart from the other schools I considered, is the work-place type environment, from 8-4 five days a week. Students have virtually zero down time, and are absorbing the knowledge of the instructors from the moment they walk into the door. Each and every one of them, being helpful from the simplest welding questions, to far-fetched life issues that everyone encounters at some point or another. For the first time in an education setting, I knew I was in the right place. I believe I speak for everyone who attended school with me, but I believe it is fair to say IAI felt like a second home, even though it was for those short 15 weeks. After leaving, I was blessed with a job opportunity, with a company that I am happily at currently. Every day I enter my work environment, I think back to all the small tips and tricks I learned, the laughter, and the friends I have made across the journey at IAI. None of this would have been possible without the excellent folks at the Industrial Arts Institute. Hands down, IAI is a top notch vocational education program, which I would recommend to anyone with the slightest bit of interest.”

Don’t pick a job with great vacation time;

Employer Testimonial:
“The multi-disciple welding and fabricating environment we have here at Magnetic Systems can be challenging even for experienced welders and fabricators. Mild steel, stainless steel, MIG, TIG… we do it all while working in and around magnetic fields. We hired Chase out of IAI a little over a year ago for his high mechanical aptitude and our trust in IAI’s preparation of workforce talent. Chase is, and has been for some time, working on his own in a variety of capacities with the full confidence and trust of management and the respect of his coworkers. In the past we have hired out of other welding schools and classified ads with disappointment. There was no such disappointment here.

We enjoy our rapport with the good people over at IAI as well as the strategic benefit of having a pipeline to one of Northern Michigan’s best sources of welding and fabricating talent. As much as our production schedules allow, we bring practicum students here for a week of on-the-job experience. The students always have something nice to say about IAI and it says a lot to us that these students are taking their welding careers seriously enough to invest in formal education… and a good one at that. “
– Nate Pawlak, MSI Sales Manager

Derrick Kelly

Employer Testimonial:

“Derrick Kelly has been able to step into the welding and fabrication department here at Genzink Steel because of the training that he received from IAI. Derrick has been here roughly a year and is doing an outstanding job. The baseline training that he received has helped him make a career out of welding. IAI does an outstanding job, working with the students and teaching them the skilled trade. They also care about the students and want to see them succeed. It seems that welders are a dying breed and IAI is moving in the right direction to change that, by making welding fun. Genzink Steel has had a relationship with IAI for a few years now, and it has been an extremely successful one. We know we can rely on IAI giving us students that have the skill, training and will to do what it takes to be a welder. “

-Jason Rouwhorst, Genzink Steel Production Supervisor


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