Grant will advance welding program and boost the local economy
Northampton Community College’s (NCC) welding program is taking a giant step forward through a $24,167 grant from the American Welding Society (AWS) Foundation, supplemented by an $845 matching fund in institutional funds and $25,810 in-kind past donations of materials from the Weiler Corporation and Nucor Steel Auburn.
The grant was used to purchase a 100-Ton Ironworker on which students and faculty will learn and perfect their fabrication skills.
Sean Moran, district director for AWS, presented Dino Forst, NCC program manager for materials and weld training, with a plaque celebrating their grant. Moran said, “We look for institutions that want to enhance their program bearing in mind their students’ growth and success. NCC showed us they were going to do that with our grant.”
The ironworker meets modern workplace machinery standards and infuses welding courses with advanced practices that meet the expectations of employers. It will support the development and growth of the welding industry by enriching technical education opportunities for newly graduated high school students seeking to live and work locally, adult workers who need to retool skill sets in line with changes in manufacturing, employers with long and short-term training needs, workers preparing for career advancement, and/or unemployed workers interested in a life-sustaining vocation.
The ironworker performs every type of metal preparation function from basic shears to customized notches, and because it takes seconds to complete the work of a drill press or torch, faculty and students will save valuable instruction time in prepping materials that can be devoted to hands-on learning activities.
Over the past thirty years, NCC’s welding program has grown and developed in collaboration with industry experts. Training encompasses basic skills to preparation for the most advanced welding professions. Students can earn an associate degree, specialized diploma or certificate. For more information on NCC’s welding program, www.northampton.edu.