TNCC Receives $25,000 Grant from Alcoa Foundation to Upgrade New Precision Welding Center

Published: January 6, 2011

Thomas Nelson Community College Workforce Development (TNCC-WD) has received a $25,000 grant from the Alcoa Foundation to purchase a Cryogenic Micro-Bulk Gas System. The additional funding will further enhance the College’s state-of-the-art Precision Welding Center, developed in partnership with the region’s major manufacturing firms and a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor.

“I am very grateful to the Alcoa Foundation for providing this grant, the fourth in five years. A bulk welding gas delivery system will give TNCC -WD greater flexibility in our welding training programs, make training more cost effective and improve the safety of the student,“ said John Calver, Director of Advanced Manufacturing Training.  Micro bulk gas systems store gases used in welding without using large cylinders, enabling trainees to quickly switch gas mixtures safely.

The partnership between Thomas Nelson Community College and the Alcoa Foundation is an ideal workforce-economic development collaboration, integrating the similar goals and missions of the Foundation and the College. Rapid structural changes in the economy require new employees to enter the workforce with a high level of technical, academic and workplace skills. The Alcoa Foundation supports adult education in workplace readiness skills to strengthen the ability of education systems to provide pathways to successful careers and engaging young learners in science, math and technology studies to build the next generation of leaders.

Since the opening of the new Precision Welding Center in May 2010, the welding program at TNCC continues to grow, providing high skills training through day and evening classes for Peninsula residents and businesses. Approximately 107 individuals recently completed training, and 75 have been placed in jobs with companies such as Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding, Liebherr Mining, Advex Corporation and the Riggins Company. The first Intermediate Welding Course achieved a 93% placement rate. The new center is equipped to operate round the clock and has the capability to graduate more than 60 skilled entry-level welders every 60 days addressing the need for welders on the Virginia Peninsula.

Employment options are very good on the Peninsula and throughout Hampton Roads forqualified graduates from TNCC’s Precision Welding Center. The TNCC Precision Welding Center is now enrolling. For additional information or to complete an application, visit or call 757-865-3123. Prospective students may also e-mail questions to

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Comment from Holly - June 15, 2011 at 7:19 am

Must you be a Va resident to participate in the welding program?

Comment from Thomas Nelson Community College - June 15, 2011 at 9:18 am

For additional information or to complete an application, visit or call 757-865-3123. Prospective students may also e-mail questions to