Henderson Community College is beginning construction on a new welding building on the Henderson Campus. The Groundbreaking Ceremony will take place on Tuesday, February 10, at 3 p.m., beginning in the main lobby of the Sullivan Technology Center (STC). The new welding facility will increase the numbers of students served and allow the college to pursue becoming an American Welding Society (AWS) Accredited Test Facility. The welding building will open around Labor Day, 2015.
The new welding building is a $1.4 million project with 20 welding stations and a technology-enabled classroom. The new facility replaces an older 12-station setting in downtown Henderson. The new building and larger number of welding booths available will increase credit, non-credit and corporate training opportunities. The location on the campus will make it easier for students/apprentices to attend welding and blueprint reading classes, allowing access to other classes scheduled around the welding classes. “We know that welding is a skill needed in our region to support existing and future industry. We are thrilled to be able to expand class offerings and access to technology through this new building on the Henderson campus,” stated HCC President Kris Williams.
HCC includes welding in its Industrial Maintenance Technology program (Associate of Applied Science Degree) as an option for students. HCC provides welding certificates in these areas: ARC Welder; AWS National Skills Standard Level I; Gas Metal Arc Welder; Gas Tungsten Arc Welder; Production Line Welder; Shielded Metal Arc Welder; and Tack Welder. The certificates include math skills, reading skills, and blueprint reading skills. More can be found on HCC’s welding program page at http://henderson.kctcs.edu/en/Academics/Programs_of_Study/Welding_Technology.aspx. Often incumbent workers are trained on welding skills through non-credit contract training for local companies.
In GRADD’s recent Occupational Outlook to 2018, welding was 20th on the listing of Green River Area Occupations with Most Annual Job Openings. Current jobs were noted at 995 with 1,037 predicted for 2018 with annual openings of 31 jobs per year. This is just welders—not for positions such as maintenance mechanic that would need welding and blueprint reading knowledge. The average wage for welders per hour in 2010 was $16.11. In theKentucky Occupational Outlook to 2020, authored by the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet, welding is projected to have 300 openings per year with an average wage per hour of $16.11 (roughly $32,320/year).