North Island College Welcomes New Welding Instructor to Campbell River
Red Seal welder Karl Plautz certainly fits the title of journeyman, having worked in many regions in BC and Alberta and with various industries.
His diverse work background, along with his experience as an instructor and administrator in post-secondary, makes him a perfect fit for the welding programs at NIC’s Campbell River campus. He will be teaching the next intake of the Welder Foundation Harmonized certificate, which begins at the end of January.
“I’m excited to get back into the classroom and the shops with the students,” said Plautz. “It’s so rewarding to help new tradespeople learn the skills that will allow them to succeed.”
Welding is in his blood – both his father and uncle worked in the trade.
“Welding lets you create but at the same time you need to problem solve,” said Plautz. “That’s what I like about it.”
Prior to joining NIC, Plautz served as the associate dean of Trades and Technologies with the College of New Caledonia, instructing both welding and metal fabrication for nine years. His background also includes working in the mining, pulp and paper and oil extraction industries on a variety of different projects.
That variety helped Plautz develop problem solving and troubleshooting skills, something he wants to ensure his students develop.
“They need to visualize the project and develop a strategy to move forward rather than having somebody tell them how to do it,” said Plautz. “That’s just as important as knowing the different types of welds, oxy-fuel cutting and blue-print reading. That, combined with a positive attitude and a willingness to learn can really help you excel in the trades.”
As an instructor, his greatest satisfaction is when a struggling student has that moment where everything clicks into place.
“That’s when the student gets the concept you’re trying to teach and the lightbulb comes on,” said Plautz. “That’s the most rewarding part of being an instructor because you’ve been able get through to that one student.”