A Successful Partnership

Businesses do not exist in a bubble. They require lots of outsiders –vendors, customers, partners, consultants, and more – to thrive. Existing in a community that is supportive of businesses is important to success for all, as there is correlation between the health of businesses and of the communities in which they exist. A recent partnership between Alpena Community College (ACC) Instructor, Tim Ratz, local welding expert Scott MacKenzie, and ESI client Yukon Mfg., Corp. (YMC) demonstrates the value of what happens when businesses and the community support one another.

One of YMC’s customers required that welds that were going into the production of water screens for power plant use, be qualified welds. These stainless steel screens are used across the United States and into Canada. Upon notification of the qualified weld requirement, YMC leadership enlisted the help of Scott MacKenzie, a familiar name with many ESI clients, and previously a welding teacher at Alpena High School and Alpena Community College. Scott assisted with administering the test, preparing the material, and observing while the test was being performed, which is a requirement of the qualification process.

What Scott did was necessary, but the missing piece was still qualification of the welds. That’s where Tim Ratz, ACC Instructor, was able to help. Tim is a Certified Welding Inspector (CWI). The process to become a CWI is difficult, with many people taking the test repeatedly before they pass. Tim was able to inspect the welds and administer a bend test to them, following standards set forth by the American Welding Society. He worked with the YMC team to correct any issues, and was ultimately able to sign off on the qualifications for four welders. Congratulations Eric Martin, Kris Moore, Terry Skorownek, and Jacob Wilder for achieving qualification.

When asked about doing this for YMC, without charging them, Tim said it is one way he can give back to the businesses that give so much to his classes and students with material donations, careers, and more. This was a great win-win-win partnership!