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Welding program re-launches with $100,000 renovation

Jason Becker, curriculum developer for Seminole State’s Applied Welding Technologies Certificate program, demonstrates a fillet weld with Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW) in the college’s newly equipped welding laboratory.

After a two-year hiatus and $100,000 in renovations to the training lab, the Applied Welding Technologies Certificate program at Seminole State College of Florida will begin Jan. 13.

The lab, located on the Sanford/Lake Mary Campus, has been completely updated and expanded with the latest in industry equipment, says Jesse Kamm, professor and program manager for architecture and construction management.

“The equipment is the latest in environmentally-friendly and green technology,” Kamm says. “The re-launch of our welding program comes at just the right time, as there’s a tremendous need for qualified welders in Central Florida. With the expansion, we’ve doubled our capacity and can accommodate up to 20 students. This will allow us to fill this tremendous regional need for qualified welders.”

The lab is specifically equipped with student-friendly welding booths from Clean Air America that are designed to help students develop the technical skills students need to enter the welding industry. Each of the 20 welding booths offers a range of tools and apparatuses – including compressed air and a 110-volt outlet. Plus, each booth has its own separate ventilator and air-filtration system, which extracts nearly 100 percent of the fumes and dust created in the laboratory environment.

“We’re training students using the most up-to-date technology available,” Kamm says. “There’s no other college in Central Florida with this type of equipment.”

The program, which runs Monday – Thursday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., will be offered as a one-year technical certificate with new students starting Jan. 13.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual median wage for welding practitioners is about $35,700, and the industry need is projected to grow by 15 percent now through 2020. Seminole State’s enhanced certificate program consists of six courses (or 1,170 hours) offered on the Sanford/Lake Mary Campus and combines classroom study with hands-on training in the newly-outfitted and high-tech lab.

The renovation and remodel was funded through a $50,000 federal grant from the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act and matched with College funding.

The overhauled welding certificate program is one of four new fast-track certificates within the college’s School of Engineering, Design and Construction. The college also will begin offering a one-year electrician certificate beginning Jan. 13 and plans to offer a plumbing certificate in late 2014. A one-year A/C, Refrigeration and Heating Technology (HVACR) certificate was launched last summer.

In recognition of the enhanced program and redesigned curriculum, the School of Engineering, Design and Construction will award $500 scholarships to 10 new students who enroll in the first classes.

Overall, the redesigned welding certificate program will prepare students for immediate employment or advanced training in the welding industry. Areas of study include basic and intermediate Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW), Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW) and Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW) skills, reading and applied use of blueprints and shop drawings, personal money management and employability and entrepreneurship skills.

Students must apply by Jan. 3 for the program. For more information, please call 407.708.2848, e-mail Keemah Platt or visit the applied welding technologies page.

Seminole State College of Florida's School of Engineering, Design and Construction offers 26 degrees and certificates, including bachelor's degrees in architectural engineering technology, construction and interior design. Courses are taught by Florida-licensed professionals who are involved in the industry.

Seminole State’s newly outfitted welding laboratory offers top-of-the-line, environmentally-safe equipment and can accommodate up to 20 students at one time.

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