TAVARES – Lake Tech welding student Mario Sozzani may have been born deaf, but he says welding is a universal language. It’s a language he and fellow student Allan Ucci are fluent in, having both won medals in the recent Regional Skills USA Welding Competition.
Sozzani, who took third, and Ucci, who won first place, will be competing in the State Skills USA Welding Competition in Pensacola later this month. If they win there, they will move on to the national championships in Kansas City, Mo.
“Welding is currently one of our most in-demand careers in Lake County,” said Adam Sumner, Lake County Economic Development & Tourism Department manager. “With Lake County’s numerous manufacturing companies expanding, we will continue to need more skilled welders in the workforce which is why the new Center for Advanced Manufacturing will be a critical tool to assist us in attracting more manufacturing companies.”
Lake County boasts more than 300 manufacturers including CaptiveAire, which opened a commercial kitchen ventilation manufacturing facility in Groveland in late 2013 and has since hired over a dozen welders.
“Partnering with schools and local businesses helps ensure that the workforce needs are being met,” Sumner said. “Many businesses are looking for highly-trained technical employees, and having a prepared workforce is a key component.”
Lake Tech, Lake-Sumter State College and Lake County Schools students trained in various technical skills will mix and mingle with business leaders, entrepreneurs and human resources professionals during the upcoming Partners for Success event. The event will be held from 5-7 p.m. on April 17 at the Lake-Sumter State College gymnasium, 9501 U.S. Highway 441, Leesburg. Partners for Success is a joint effort between The Lake County Economic Development & Tourism Department, Lake County Schools, Lake-Sumter State College, Lake Tech and The Lake County Chamber Alliance.
For more information about Partners for Success, contact Nancy Muenzmay at muenzmaN@lssc.edu.