National Science Foundatin Establishes Welding Education and Training Center at Ohio Community College

July 10, 2007—Lorain County Community College (LCCC) was named project leader for a $4.9 million National Science Foundation (NSF) program, establishing a National Center for Welding Education and Training on the LCCC campus. The Center will increase the number of science and engineering welding technicians to meet workforce demands."The welding industry in the United States is economically large, technically diverse, and has well-documented needs. This industry considers education and training in advanced methods and techniques for welding technicians essential to United States competitiveness in advanced manufacturing," said Elizabeth J. Teles, Ph.D., Lead Program Director for the Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program at the NSF. As the lead on the project, LCCC will collaborate with team members that include major corporations, industry associations, educational institutions, government facilities, and a professional society. Joining the partner colleges is the American Welding Society (AWS), the premier non-profit professional society dedicated to the welding and joining industry. committees, and partners. "We are pleased to collaborate with Lorain County Community College and respected partners on such an important and significant endeavor," said Ray Shook, AWS executive director. "With a primary mission to provide top-quality educational programs and products to strengthen the welding industry and expand career opportunities, we are proud to be involved with the establishment of the National Center for Welding Education and Training. This center not only will provide essential support to the welding technology profession, but also help to increase awareness of the critical role welding plays in the vast manufacturing sector. This is especially important considering today's difficult recruiting environment due to the nationwide shortage of welders."LCCC is also the only approved provider in Ohio for the Manufacturing Skills Standards Council(MSSC). Planned collaboration between the Center and the MSSC will address education reform to foster implementation of national skills standards. Allied processes such as brazing, soldering, cutting, and thermal spraying (coating) will be part of the Center's scope of training."Although the focus will be technician education at community colleges, secondary and post community college education will also be supported through LCCC's 'model of vertical articulation' wherein students can take coursework while still in high school, secure their associate's degree at LCCC and their bachelor's degree through the University Partnership," Estep said.

American Welding Sociiety