Vactor Manufacturing in Streator hired 10 welders in the past 9 months from IVCC

Second eight-week classes begin at IVCC on Oct. 10

Illinois Valley Community College welding instructor and program coordinator Tony Sondgeroth (left) with Vactor Manufacturing welders and former IVCC students Austin Stanley, Jacob Wilson, Rowan Hampel, Mason Adkins, Trevor Mooney, Clayton Cole, IVCC welding instructor Theresa Molln and Vactor Production Manager Matt Bouley.

Illinois Valley Community College’s welding program is helping Vactor Manufacturing of Streator build its workforce of Mig and Tig welders.

“IVCC and welding instructors Tony Sondgeroth and Theresa Molln have enhanced Vactor’s employee training and development in mild, stainless and aluminum welding,” said Vactor Human Resources Manager Katie Muntz.

“We’ve hired more than 10 welders in the last nine months from IVCC’s program. They’ve joined our skilled workforce and are earning over $26 an hour with significant increases planned during the first two years of employment. We look forward to our continued success and partnership with IVCC,” said Muntz.

Third-shift Vactor Manufacturing welders and former IVCC students Sahari Chavez (left), Kearra Kargle, Rowan Hampel, Michael Bell and Logan Olszewski.

Vactor manufactures sewer and catch basin cleaners for the municipal market including the Guzzler brand of industrial vacuum loaders and employs more than 650 people.

Vactor works closely with IVCC’s Business Training Specialist Jennifer Sowers of the Continuing Education and Business Services Department.

“Projections show a shortage of 450,000 welders by 2029, according to the American Welding Society (AWS) and we are committed to focusing on building this workforce,” Sowers said.

“Our welding curriculum is aligned with AWS specifications, our instructors are AWS CWI/CWE-certified and we are one of just five AWS Accredited Testing Facilities in Illinois. We appreciate Vactor allowing our students the opportunity to build a successful career in the Illinois Valley,” Sowers added.

For information on IVCC’s welding program or to enroll in classes, call Sondgeroth at 815-224-0319. Second eight-week welding classes begin Monday, Oct. 10. The local District 13 AWS Section also offers scholarship opportunities for individuals interested in pursuing a career in welding. Apply at