Michael Krupnicki, president of Mahany Welding Supply, knows that he could just sell welding supplies and make a decent living. But then the phone rings, and a local company is on the other end, sharing that it needs a half dozen welders. So, Michael does more: he partners with Monroe Community College to supply them.
By the time MCC students complete the 20-week, four-credit course Krupnicki helps teach and earn their certification, the vast majority have solid job offers. “There are plenty of practical things I do to be a good businessman,” he said. “but to teach someone a trade—to help someone get a start or start again—that just swells my heart.”
Three years ago, Krupnicki partnered with MCC to provide classes for students enrolled in the college’s automotive, machining and HVAC programs. Since then more than a dozen local companies have hired graduates. While Krupnicki expected that offering training in this high-demand field would be an interesting diversion, he underestimated the advantage it would create for his business. “Offering classes has really given us more credibility as experts,” he said. “It’s enhanced our image in the community. It’s grown our customer base. I had a feeling I was going to enjoy the teaching part but I never expected to have this much fun.”