New facility revamps GTCC welding program

GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. -- It’s a field that’s hot in the job market.

There’s a high demand for welders, but what it takes to make the cut with employers is changing.

Guildford Technical Community College’s Center for Advanced Manufacturing is allowing students to stay ahead of the industry standard.

"When the students come in here, they're ready for what's going to come out, not what's already been out there,” said Donald Ellington, the department chair for manufacturing at GTCC.

The Center for Advanced Manufacturing is a new 242,000 square-foot facility that houses the programs for computer integrated machining, transportation technologies and welding.

The programs have access to the latest technology.

Welding moved into the new building in January from its facility on the Jamestown campus.

"Oh we have so much more room here,” student Melissa Phillips said.

"It was so cluttered and you couldn't really breathe in the other building. This building, it has a lot of ventilation,” student Shaneal Turner said.

The new space has allowed the program to expand from 32 to 76 welding and cutting booths and students can now learn robotics.

Ellington says having that technology available stands out with companies.

"When they see that we have a facility like this they see that our community has our finger on the pulse and can help them with their employment needs into the future,” he said.

The Center for Advanced Manufacturing is approximately a $35.54 million investment.

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