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Walla Walla Community College

Walla Walla Community College plans to expand its welding technology program during the next year thanks to a grant of almost $25,000 from the American Welding Society Foundation.

The program will grow from 18 to 42 students, according to a college news release. The class will have access to a state-of-the-art welding facility and new equipment purchased with the grant that will allow students to work outside in “real-world” and “real-weather” conditions.

“Our goal is to empower our students with professionalism, and confidence, while learning a wide range of skills as educated welders, that will prepare them to enter different corners of the welding industry,” said Kristopher Margart, who leads the Walla Walla campus welding program and is a second-generation graduate of the program.

The college also plans to hire an additional full-time instructor for the upcoming fall quarter as well as an instructional technician. Technical training offered at WWCC complies with American Welding Society standards and offers Washington Association of Building Officials welder certification in multiple processes. The curriculum is overseen by an advisory board of local and regional industry professionals.

Classes currently include blueprint reading, shielded metal arc welding, gas tungsten arc welding, gas metal arc welding/flux cored arc welding, pipe welding, fabrication, welder certification and quantitative problem solving. Cutting practices include plasma arc and oxyfuel cutting, while welding practices include pipe and plate of carbon steel, stainless steel, aluminum and titanium materials.

Students can earn a two-year associate degree in applied sciences in welding technology or a one-year welding technology certificate. Students graduate with the skills they need to work as welders and pursue careers as pipefitters, boilermakers, production welders, fabricators, ironworkers and other trades.

The WWCC welding program is already full for fall 2023 quarter, but anyone interested in starting during the winter quarter, which begins in January, can contact Margart at [email protected] or Gwen Dentinger at [email protected] to learn more.