To say that John Arseneault has extensive knowledge as a welder and trainer would be an understatement. More than sixteen years ago, he was the official instructor for the Ironworkers Local 700, when he saw a void in the local training opportunities for aspiring Welders. Together with his wife Jann Arseneault, Can-Weld Training & Testing Centre was born. In those 16 years, they have proven they can stand the test of time. While other training centres are closing they continue to provide options for local trades people, as well as those who may wish to acquire the skills needed to create their own products, with no sign of slowing down. Can-Weld sees students from all over Lambton County and beyond- including Dresden, Wallaceburg, Chatham – and with the recent closure of the school in London, anticipates more students travelling farther for training. Operating on a “continual enrollment” system means that students don’t have to wait until September if they choose to pursue training as a Welder. Another thing that sets Can-Weld apart is the practical, hands-on approach to learning. Students should not expect to spend a lot of time sitting in a classroom, studying theory. Instead, they will do most of their learning “on the floor”, hands on.
When Can-Weld began, 16 years ago, the building they occupy on Plank Road was new and an ideal location just outside of the city traffic and a close drive to the Chemical Valley and most roadways feeding in and out of Sarnia. They have remained at that site, where almost all of their 3000+ sq ft is used for training. John and Jann made sure they had support in place when they started this journey, and they found it in the form of the Sarnia-Lambton Business Development Corporation. There, they were able to create a vision, a business plan and benefit from the free counselling offered to small businesses. One of the key things they learned would later prove to be one of their biggest assets – due diligence. Part of that was taking the steps to become a recognized Private Career College as defined by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU). This recognition has allowed them to provide training to those seeking Second Career opportunities through the MTCU, and opened the door to a lot of students who may not have otherwise been able to afford it. They are also members of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business and the Sarnia-Lambton Chamber of Commerce.
Jann and John have two sons who carry on the family tradition, and countless graduates who credit them with their start in an industry with no shortage of opportunity. Jann is much more than the Centre’s administrator, she has become family to so many who have walked through her door. She maintains contact with her graduates and is frequently contacted by employers looking to hire – so often in fact, that she is sometimes out of grads to recommend – because they are already working. With the help of their dedicated and hard-working team of 5, students don’t just graduate – they graduate prepared to work. In addition to the training portion of the curriculum, Can-Weld is also a Testing Centre, which means that those who may have acquired their skillset elsewhere, but lack the final credentials, or may have been unable to attend on the limited testing dates at their own school, can complete the testing process at Can-Weld to solidify their credentials. Jann offers a most selfless explanation when asked about her motivation as an entrepreneur. It isn’t money, and it isn’t notoriety…”it’s the success of the students. Seeing them graduate, helping them on their path”. In business, that attitude is a rarity, but has helped to solidify Can-Weld Training & Testing Centre as an industry leader.
To find out more about Can-Weld Training & Testing Centre, you can find them on Facebook, on their website www.canweldsarnia.com or by phone at 519-344-9222. They are located at 1392 Plank Road, Unit 3 in Sarnia.