Friends and family celebrated Bob Hunt’s retirement Friday 7 at the Josh Davis Plaza. Hunt has worked as a welder for more than 30 years, including the last six years as an adjunct instructor in the DMACC Perry VanKirk Career Welding Academy.
“Bob joined DMACC after retirement from the workforce,” DMACC Perry Director Eddie Diaz said at the retirement party. “He has shared his experiences and his skills preparing students to be job ready. We will miss Bob’s energy and service on our campus. We wish him the best in his second retirement.”
Hunt’s path toward teaching began after the Oscar Mayer plant in Perry closed in 1988, and he used state programs to attend DMACC’s welding institute. Along with friends Jim Von Behren and Bob Renze, Hunt carpooled from Perry to Ankeny. The three men completed the welding program, and each entered a different area of the manufacturing world. Hunt spent the majority of his career working at Dee Zee Inc. in Des Moines while raising his family in Perry.
“Bob served in the military, spent a lifetime in the manufacturing world and for the last six years has given back to his community by helping prepare the next generation of manufacturing workers,” Diaz said. “I would say that is a lifetime of achievement.”
Over the years, Hunt’s students have entered careers in manufacturing at companies such as Percival Scientific, Wiese Industries, Vermeer Corp., Scranton Manufacturing, John Deere Des Moines Works, Mid America Trenchers and others.
Hunt leaves big shows to fill at the Perry campus, but Joe Shelly of Perry has begun transitioning into the role of welding instructor over the last few weeks and plans to take up where Hunt leaves off in teaching young men and women the art and science of welding, blueprint reading, hand and bench tool use and manufacturing safety.
The DMACC VanKirk Career Academy offers tuition-free career and technical programs primarily to high school students through a partnership with area school districts, including ACGC, ADM, DCG, Panorama, Perry, West Central Valley, Woodward-Granger and Van Meter. Each year some 20 students start the welding academy under the leadership of Von Behren and Shelly.
In addition to the welding academy, DMACC Perry VanKirk Career Academy programs include the automotive technology academy, computer programming academy, criminal justice academy, EMT academy, health occupations academy, liberal arts transfer academy, teaching academy and the new applied engineering academy.
For more information on the Career Advantage Academy programs, contact the DMACC at Perry VanKirk Career Academy at 515-428-8100.