TAMPA, Fla. — The chairman of the Tampa City Council, Orlando Gudes, is pushing a plan that he says will bring more high-paying jobs into struggling communities.

What You Need To Know

  • The Tampa City Council's chairman wants to connect more residents to welding careers.

  • The Bridge The Gap Foundation has a welding training program.

  • The program was showcased recently in the Sulphur Springs neighborhood.

The plan connects residents to a career in welding. It's a field that has a lot of openings and not enough employees.

Recently, Orlando Gudes invited the founders of a welding training program to showcase their program in the Sulpur Springs neighborhood. The training is part of the nonprofit Bridge The Gap Foundation and it takes place inside of an 18-wheeler truck. The goal is to create a mobile world of career possibilities. 

Gudes believes the program would be beneficial to struggling communities.

"Changes the dynamics of our people," Gudes said. "Taking the product to them. Getting them inside, and getting them trained and getting them into the workforce. Game changer."

Gabriel Salgado of Lakeland learned to weld through the program. He said it has allowed him to support his family with ease.

"I don't have to worry about making ends meet because I will provide that easily," Salgado said.

Aubrey Greene, who founded the Bridge The Gap Foundation, said the training program not only helps potential employees like Salgado but also employers.

"I have employers all the time that call me and ask me for qualified welders," Greene said.

Chairman Gudes hopes that by bringing the training program to the Sulphur Springs community, it will show other city leaders the benefits of welding.