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Aiken Technical College Receives American Welding Society Grant
Nikasha N Dicks
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Aiken Technical College Receives American Welding Society Grant

Aiken Technical College (ATC) has been awarded a $25,000 American Welding Society (AWS) Foundation Workforce Grant. The ATC Foundation applied on behalf of the College to support the College’s welding program’s ongoing needs.

“This grant opportunity came at just the right time. This is a wonderful opportunity for the American Welding Society to provide funding support to the already ongoing enhancements to the ATC welding facilities” said Dr. Beth LaClair, ATC Foundation Director.

The AWS grant will fund 20 additional welding booths and welding machines, growing the total number of welding booths to 60 to help meet the growing student demand.

“The increased enrollment of the welding program has opened up the need for additional welding booths and machines,” said welding instructor Keith Cusey. “When setting up lab schedules, we currently have to closely monitor the class sizes during the registration process, to avoid any overlaps of more students than welding booths.”

The increased lab space will also enable the College to grow training capacity in supporting regional workforce needs.

“Welding is one of the critical skills that companies are in constant need of, and our ability to support our students in developing the skills to meet that workforce need is a focus of Aiken Technical College,” said Dr. Steven Simmons, Dean of Technical and Continuing Education.

In preparation for the expanded capacity, the College is currently upgrading the ventilation for the area, scheduled to be completed in March. The new welding booths will be added in the summer of 2021.

Grants up to $25,000 are available for secondary and post-secondary education and training institutions that are AWS educational institution members and SENSE registered. The grants help enhance welding programs and increase the number of welding graduates and the number of graduates successfully placed in welding or welding-related jobs.

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