Students from Cape Fear Community College’s new welding program in Burgaw made the first step toward their new careers today. Thanks to a grant from the Duke Energy Foundation, seven students graduated from CFCC’s enhanced welding program in Burgaw. Josh Huffman, Nazareth Adams, Dennis Yott, Raymond Pickett, Sr., Mike Smith, Randall Hall and Leon Rooks are the first graduates of the program since Duke Energy’s $147,592 grant in 2014. Because of the grant funding, these students are now equipped with specialized equipment training and certifications that will launch them beyond competition in the job market.
The Duke Energy Foundation grant awarded to CFCC last year equipped a welding lab at CFCC’s Burgaw campus that was specifically geared towards supporting new certified metal inert gas (MIG) and tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding training programs. The grant also provided professional development funding for instructors, to ensure that they maintain skills to help students learn to operate the complex and state-of-the-art machinery. As a result, the welding students benefited from not only access to a specialized lab, but also from the expertise of highly-trained professionals.
Welding instructor Fleet Spell has watched the program transform with the grant’s provision, “It is exciting to be a part of the new CFCC welding program and to work with students striving to learn new skills. As the demand for highly skilled welding grows, so do the opportunities for our students. I look forward to working with new students as they enter this program.”
Each student graduating today passed significant testing that is regulated by American Welder’s Society and have earned certificates of completion in Welding Fundamentals, MIG and TIG. In total, these students have completed 405 hours of training over an average of 6 months.
Duke Energy continued their commitment to job training with another grant award today.
As part of the inaugural graduation ceremony of its welding program, CFCC announced a nearly $10,000 investment from the Duke Energy Foundation to supply welding kits to students for the upcoming academic year.
On top of tuition, books and fees, each student enrolled in the CFCC welding program has to purchase a welding kit at the current cost of around $190. Grant funds will ease the financial strain for students by providing full and/or partial costs of the welding kits. This will increase the number of students completing welding training and entering the workforce, and in turn, strengthen the success of the program.
“We are so happy to celebrate with our graduates today and we appreciate Duke Energy’s continued support. CFCC is excited to expand our course offerings in Pender County, and this grant award will help to make training programs like these more accessible to our students. This grant underscores Duke Energy’s commitment to job training in our area,” said Dr. Amanda Lee, CFCC president.
“We are pleased to expand our partnership with Cape Fear Community College to develop a highly-skilled workforce that will attract and retain businesses in the region for years to come,” said John Elliott, Duke Energy’s director of government and community relations.