Profile: Jake Palen

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NICC_Jake_PalenBusiness and Community Solutions Student Gains Edge with Robotic Welding Training

The common argument that robots will replace American workers in manufacturing environments, essentially taking jobs away from human beings, is not an accurate depiction of this technology in the workplace, according to Jake Palen, of Dubuque, who completed a robotic welding training certificate at Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC) in 2015.

Palen was one of a five-member Business and Community Solutions training team from Camso that completed the training program at NICC. The certificate graduate welcomes the introduction of robotic technology to his workplace for a simple reason – robots make his work easier.

“I’m seeing the need to bring in more robots at Camso, and that’s really my focus right now. That seems to be where manufacturing operations are going,” Palen explained. “Robotics are far more efficient than employees, they automate repetitive tasks with fewer errors and, as a team leader, I’m seeing this as the future.”

Palen praised the customized, student-focused approach that his instructors applied to classroom and hands-on training.

“The instructor we had at NICC was excellent and really knew his subject matter. I would write questions I had down, and he would answer them right away,” Palen said, who currently supervises and leads 10 employees at work and understands that emerging technological advancements demand ongoing training to stay ahead of the curve. “I would even like to teach welding at the College someday, too.”

Robotic welding training programs through NICC Business and Community Solutions can impact efficiency and productivity for local manufacturing companies, and students of all skill levels can benefit from robotics training. For more information, visit

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