The welding school is an established business moving all its operations to Edinburg
By Roberto Hugo Gonzalez
As originally published in Texas Border Business newsprint edition November 2019
The business atmosphere prevalent in the City of Edinburg makes it easy for businesses to move to the city and set up shop. Recently, Juan Zavedra, Jr., the owner of a welding school made the decision to move his entire operation to Edinburg. The move represents an excellent opportunity to expand his business as never before.
In his current location, he has 2,000 sq. ft., whereas the new location in Edinburg, which he will start remodeling is over 15,000 sq. ft. The school started in 2014, and according to Zavedra, it is a success.
Edinburg Mayor Richard Molina said, “We’re very excited to have a school here. To welcome students from Edinburg and all across the Valley to learn a new trade here in Edinburg.” He also said, “Seventy percent of construction companies nationwide are struggling to find qualified workers. Welders are earning anywhere from $45,000 all the way up to a $100,000 annually.”
David Torres, Edinburg’s Mayor Pro-Tem, said the welding school is an excellent addition to the City. “Also, a unique opportunity for people who aren’t interested in going to get your 4-year education… but not everybody’s built for that,” he added.
Jorge Salinas, a councilmember and the Chairman of the Edinburg EDC, celebrated the new school by saying, “Today we had a groundbreaking on 1710 Industrial Road. The owner of the school is a native of Edinburg with an established business moving to Edinburg.”
Salinas added that Zavedra works closely with the Texas Workforce Commission. “The school has contracts all over the state, entities send him students to train. Then he sends them back once they’re fully certified.”
Norma Ramirez, an Edinburg EDC board member, said, “To be part of opening a school in my hometown, it’s overwhelming. Education and skills are definitely a priority in our community. With great pride, I feel very blessed to be part of this.”
Zavedra said, “South Texas Welding School is the only school that teaches, trains, and prepares you with 100% hands-on training.” He continued, “Students learn with no book, and we’re still regulated by the State of Texas. You start welding since day one.”
How long does it take for a prospect to learn?
He said, “It all depends on how many courses the student takes, but usually they are five-week courses, Monday through Fridays; everyday it’s hands-on.” The five-week courses are intensive, and Zavedra said that they prepare their students for any test they need to take in the field that’s going to be required to get the job.
He also pointed out that passing a test means getting the job. “Average pay… it all depends on what type of welding you’re doing, but it starts from just the basic average rate; it’s like $24 an hour. Then we have another one that’s called combination welding, with that one you’ll start earning $38 to $40 an hour,” he said.
According to Zavedra, it is the most complete training for any student dreaming of being a professional welder. Students start from the first day of class, taking advantage of a wide range of courses:
- Stick welding,
- Heliarc Welding,
- Structural welding,
- Flux Core Welding,
- Stainless steel welding,
- Up-hill pipe welding,
- Down-hill pipe welding,
- Combination welding.
He said that different manufacturing fields require all types of welding, as well as big industries, especially SpaceX in Brownsville. “That’s a big plus for us.”
South Texas Welding School is setting up shop in a building at the Edinburg Industrial Park. The school in its present location is operating with four instructors; they are all experienced welders. Currently, they are working with 17 students who are already enrolled. With the additional square footage in the new building, Zavedra estimates that his enrollment will triple.
The City of Edinburg and the Edinburg Economic Development were part of the effort to bring a successful welding school to the industrial park of Edinburg.