The Center for Workforce and Professional Development at Central Maine Community College unveiled the new welding lab at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday, October 26. The ribbon cutting was attended by officials from CMCC and the Maine Community College System, plus board members from the CM Education Foundation and workforce partners in the industry.
The welding lab was made possible by a $950,000 grant from the Harold Alfond Center for the Advancement of Maine’s Workforce and the Maine Jobs and Recovery Plan. Construction on the lab, which is located within the Gene Haas Precision Machining Technology Center at the College, began in the spring of 2022. The state-of-the-art facility features twenty stations capable of both MIG and TIG welding.
The new welding lab is home to the Center for Workforce and Professional Development’s Welding Academy. The Academy is a 4-week, 160-hour training program that covers a variety of welding techniques, including MIG and TIG welding, industry-standard weld joints, print reading, basic metallurgy, sheet metal forming, tube welding, and grinding and polishing. The training is free to those who are unemployed, underemployed or whose job was negatively impacted by COVID-19.
“As a community college, it is our mission to identify workforce needs in the region and provide programming that directly answers those needs,” said Dr. Betsy Libby, president of Central Maine Community College. “We are grateful for the grant funding that enabled us to build out a lab space and purchase equipment to help learners develop new skills which lead to successful careers in high-demand fields.”
The first cohort of the Welding Academy began on Monday, October 17, 2022. The program is instructed by Forrest Stone, who has a diverse background in stainless steel fabrication in a variety of industries, including aerospace, breweries and electric vehicles. New cohorts will begin every five weeks. To register, contact the Center for Workforce and Professional Development at 207-755-5280 or email@example.com.
“Skilled welders and metal fabricators are in high demand,” said Dr. Dwayne Conway, dean of workforce and professional development. “Graduates of the Welding Academy will be able to pursue careers in the aerospace, agricultural, automotive, construction and renewable energy sectors, which all play important roles in the Maine economic landscape.”