TNCC Precision Welding Center Ribbon Cutting Set for Thursday, May 13


Published: May 13, 2010

Peninsula businesses and local officials will celebrate the official opening of the new Precision Welding Center at Thomas Nelson Community College (TNCC) with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 3 p.m. on Thursday, May 13.  The facility, which can train up to 75 welders per month for entry level skilled welding positions, is located in the Peninsula Workforce Development Center at 600 Butler Farm Road in Hampton.

TNCC President Alvin J. Schexnider will recognize Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding, Alcoa Foundation, and Miller Electric for their contributions to the $225,000 center.

“With the help of our business partners, TNCC has made a strategic investment in the Peninsula’s future by expanding our capacity to train more welders and enhance the way workers and employers access the high tech skills needed to compete in today’s economy,” says TNCC President Schexnider.

Estimates indicate the need for 15,000 skilled tradespersons on the Peninsula in the next five years, the majority welders, to replace retirees and accommodate the need for expansions in several emerging energy and green technology sectors.

In response to the increasing shortage of skilled welders on the Peninsula, TNCC kicks off the opening of the welding center with a new, 3-month, hands-on subsidized welding training program leading to national credentials.

The first course of 20 students is scheduled to begin in a few weeks. Welding program applicants are required to pay a non-refundable $275 registration fee and successfully complete assessments that include a drug screening and a background check. Remaining training costs are sponsored by a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor.

“Employers have worked together with the college through advisory boards to plan curriculum and equip the center with professional welding booths,” says Dr. Deborah Wright, TNCC’s Vice President of Workforce Development.  “As a result, Peninsula workers can learn Shielded Metal Arc (SMA), Gas Metal Arc (GMA), Flux Cord Arc (FCA), and Gas Tungsten Arc (GTA) welding disciplines.”

Grants and technical assistance from Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding Newport News, the Alcoa Foundation, Miller Electric, and a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor provided support for the new TNCC Welding center. The college used a prior $2 million USDOL grant in the development of a recruiting and training pipeline for advanced manufacturing that placed 4,758 individuals in manufacturing jobs in four years.

“Area businesses have used TNCC’s Peninsula Workforce Development Center and its services to assess and train incumbent and prospective employees including Liebherr, Canon, Continental, Northrop Grumman and others companies,” says Tony Farley, Associate Vice President for TNCC Business and Corporate Training,  “It has proven to be a valuable community asset.”  In addition, the TNCC Precision Welding Center’s new energy efficient welding machines use up to 65% less energy than the older machines, incorporating the latest green technology.

For more information on the new welding center or the subsidized welding program, call 757-865-3122. Prospective students may also e-mail questions to workforcedev@tncc.edu.

Reporter/ Editor Note: Project pictures for the new welding center are available at TNCC Welding. The college will videotape the event. For footage, please contact Tia Freeman at 757-825-3570. During the event, contact her at 757-865-3122.



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