Jobs at the Steel Yard

Weld to Work Instructor

Position type: Independent Contractor
Pay: $25/hour per contact and prep hour

Workforce Mission Statement: The Steel Yard is dedicated to serving Rhode Islanders living at, or below, the federal poverty line by providing access to education, training and facilities to learn and practice the industrial arts. To meet the needs of this community, the organization has developed paid training programs that provide the technical and soft skills necessary to make participants more employable in livable-wage jobs. 

Programs are facilitated by highly-skilled artists and fabricators with industry experience, who teach participants to proficiently use the tools common to their industrial arts practice. A creative curriculum is employed to focus on safety, self-esteem building, creative problem solving, soft skills, teamwork, and active community engagement. The Steel Yard makes an effort to provide a professional experience for every participant, instructor, collaborator, and applicant. 

What is Weld to Work: Weld to Work pays up to eight participants each session to learn to safely use all the tools and machines common to a fabrication shop and to practice their skills by fabricating a Public Project, or commissioned functional public art that is permanently installed in the community. Weld to Work comes in two forms; a one-week, 30-hour introductory intensive course that runs Monday through Friday, 10:00am to 4:00pm and Weld to Work 2.0, a four-week, 120-hour course open only to the successful graduates of the one-week programs. In Weld to Work 1.0, participants learn to MIG weld and safely use all other tools and machines common to a fabrication shop. Weld to Work 2.0 builds on the skills learned in the one-week programs. Participants are introduced to stick and TIG welding, build more Public Projects, go on tours of local industrial facilities, participate in a formal soft skills training and receive an OSHA-10 construction safety certificate. 

Weld to Work is run in “units” and the Steel Yard runs two units per year, a spring, and a fall unit. A unit is comprised of about four Weld to Work 1.0’s run in quick succession followed by a Weld to Work 2.0. 

The Workforce Coordinator works with each participant throughout each program to establish employment goals, address barriers to employment, and assist in placement into a career or further educational opportunities elsewhere.

Desired Qualifications:

-A talented and experienced welder and fabricator. Has significant experience working in the field as a welder/fabricator and has experience teaching and/or working with the targeted demographic.
-Can teach up to eight adults to safely and proficiently MIG weld, TIG weld and stick weld, use angle grinders with cut off wheels, flap disks, wire wheels and grinding disks, chop saws, oxyacetylene torch bending and cutting, plasma cutting, drill press, belt sander and horizontal band saw. Can teach tape measurer, and simple shop drawing reading.
-Compassionately and skillfully leads by example to teach the soft skills necessary for participants to gain and maintain meaningful employment.
-Has the design and artistic skills to follow shop drawings and make decisions to ensure a functional final product. Works with the Workforce Coordinator and Public Projects Director to ensure projects are completed accurately and on-time and that all participants have an equal hand in the fabrication of each project.
-Emphasizes shop safety and requires that everyone follows shop safety regulations.
-Capable of working with a diverse cohort, is sensitive to the cultural, socioeconomic and class-related issues.
-Works closely with the Teaching Assistant to ensure that all participants are consistently productive, safe and learning all skills and tools necessary.

Interested in sharing technical and artistic skills set and knowledge with others and in improving local communities with functional public art.

Works closely with the Workforce Coordinator in ensuring that every participant has a positive experience throughout the program, and immediately reports any digressions from the program rules to the Workforce Coordinator.

Is an excellent multi-tasker, is exceptionally patient, and has a sense of humor. 

Is physically capable of working in an industrial shop. 

To Apply: Send resume, cover letter and three professional and personal references to .

Industrial Arts Instructor

The Steel Yard seeks experienced industrial arts instructors to teach community courses in blacksmithing, welding, ceramics, jewelry, and iron casting. Instructors are needed for introductory, advanced, and project based courses; new course ideas are welcomed. Times and dates vary, but Steel Yard courses typically run weekends and weeknights and range from 6 to 30 contact teaching hours during our spring, summer, and fall seasons. Teaching positions are independent contracts; compensation is commensurate with contact teaching hours. 

Steel Yard courses aim to give community members exposure to a range of industrial art forms in a safe, fun, welcoming, and creative environment. Interested artist instructors must have proven experience in their medium and teaching. This includes understanding process, ability to see a project through, correct and safe use of equipment and ability to give clear directions to students of different ages with varying levels of experience and learning skills.

If you are interested in sharing your ‘how to’ skills and feel you have what it takes, please send the following information to  with “Prospective Instructor” in the subject line.

  • Brief statement introducing yourself and your teaching methodology
  • List of your skills
  • Resume
  • 5-10 images of your work

Public Projects Artist

The Public Projects department at The Steel Yard hires artists year round to design, fabricate and install high-quality functional public art. Our projects cover a vast range from street furnishings, such as bike racks, benches and trashcans to one-of-a-kind projects such as giant stage sets or coffee carts, and everything in between. We expect our artists to be creative problem-solvers, to work well in a shared studio space, meet deadlines, and produce well-made, long-lasting work. The work we do is commission-based, so you may also be required to meet with clients to discuss or revise designs.  

We hire one or several artists per project, and pay each artist a stipend reflecting the amount of time they should be putting in to that project. We hire artists for all or part of the art-making process. The Steel Yard is responsible for the purchase of materials, and you will be given access to our shop and tools for the fabrication of the projects we hire you for.

Skills we most often hire artists for are:

  • Welding (MIG & TIG)
  • Blacksmtihing
  • Fabrication
  • Ceramics
  • Design and Graphic Design

If you are interested in being a public projects artist, please send the following information to  with “Prospective Artist” in the subject line.

  • Brief statement introducing yourself
  • List of your skills
  • Resume
  • 5-10 images of your work