Carter Lake, Iowa-based Owen Industries (an AISC member) is now an official registered apprenticeship sponsor and offers a three-year, competency-based welder apprenticeship program. In August the company began an interview and selection process, seeking four welder apprentices to offer on-the-job training as well as worksite classroom training, in partnership with Iowa Western Community College, at no cost to the apprentice.

Thomas Stalbosky started as one of four apprentices in the program in September 2016.

Thomas had taken some welding classes in high school, this included mostly simple welds. His high school class was incorporated with Metro Community Colleges welding program which initiated his interest in welding.

Thomas worked as a shift supervisor at a car wash prior to applying for the welder apprentice program. Owen Industries working with Iowa Community College combines both on-the job and classroom education. During classroom training, Thomas has worked completing some stands that hold wire and conduit and has turned out to be one of his favorite projects.

Thomas has enjoyed working on seventy-one foot columns that will be placed in a Georgia nuclear plant. These will be the supporting columns for containment for this plant. This is a project that is cherished by many of the apprentices.

Thomas stresses consistency in welding as an importance for all welding projects.

Thomas likes the atmosphere at Owen Industries, the great people he works with and good mentors. He has several co-workers who have gone above and beyond to make sure he is trained and educated properly and have shared their experiences with him to help make him successful.

Owen Industries’ welder apprenticeship program is an ongoing program and open to anyone who applies at their Carter Lake, Iowa, location, regardless of where they live. For questions or more information about the program, please contact Ronald D. DeBord, Owen Industries Vice President of Human Resources, at 712.347.5500 or

Thomas Stalbosky