Asnuntuck Community College (ACC) recently held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate its new 5,400-square-foot Welding and Fabrication Center. Governor Dannel P. Malloy joined ACC President James Lombella; ACC’s Manufacturing Technology Center Director Frank Gulluni; and Paul Murphy, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Mallory Industries in Farmington, to officially open the facility.
The $2.7 million, state-of-the-art Welding and Fabrication Center is part of the college’s Manufacturing Technology Center, and will accommodate up to 80 students daily with the latest technology, safety and emissions system.
“The United States Department of Labor is forecasting a need for an additional 200,000 welders by the year 2020,” ACC President James Lombella
Funded through JOBS legislation — introduced by Governor Malloy and approved by the state legislature — the Center houses new pieces of machinery including a water jet and plasma table for making intricate cuts and designs in a variety of metals. The new equipment includes 28 welding units, constructed by ACC faculty and students, as well as other equipment including a CNC driven shear, brake and roll.
At the event, Governor Malloy was presented with the governor’s seal created by students using the new welding and fabrication equipment. “If we’re going to increase job growth and remain competitive, we must be aware of how critically important it is for manufacturers to have access to employees with an advanced skill set,” said Governor Malloy. “Having a workforce that is able to fill these jobs is vital to spurring economic growth, and this Welding and Fabrication Center will play a significant role in boosting those efforts.”
“The United States Department of Labor is forecasting a need for an additional 200,000 welders by the year 2020,” said ACC President James Lombella. “Asnuntuck Community College is proud to showcase a facility that will help provide support toward meeting this need. The college is also pleased that Governor Dannel P. Malloy has lent his support to this mission through his commitment to the college and its goal to provide a skilled workforce to the state of Connecticut.”
“This Welding and Fabrication Center allows ACC to respond to the needs of the state’s manufacturers and prepare students for the 21st century global workforce,” said Board of Regents President Gregory Gray. “With the ongoing need for welders in the region, this Center provides an excellent opportunity for graduates to gain employment at regional manufacturing companies.”
The Welding and Fabrication Center will allow ACC to fill the demand for a skilled manufacturing workforce in aerospace, construction, and in welding and fabrication companies throughout the region, such as Mallory Industries in Farmington. “We approached Asnuntuck Community College for help with workforce development,” said Murphy. “From there, and with support and need from industry and the state, the college met our needs and started to flourish with its Manufacturing Technology program. Today, Asnuntuck Community College is recognized as the leader and a true Center of Excellence for manufacturing programs.”
“We at ACC were both proud and privileged to share our state-of-the-art welding and fabrication technology facility with an audience of more than 100 people from both the public and private sectors,” said Gullini. “Paul Murphy, Chief Operating Officer of Mallory Industries in Farmington and former President of the 94 member Aerospace Components Consortium, addressed the history of manufacturing in Connecticut and emphasized the importance to grow the economy through advanced training and education; while Governor Malloy emphasized the state’s continuing commitment to provide employers with the best trained workforce in America.”
ACC offers programs in Precision Machining Technology, Welding Technology, Electronics Technology, and Electro/Mechanical Technology, and ACC’s instructors are current with the trends of the manufacturing environment. The next phase of the Manufacturing Technology Center expansion will include a 27,000-square-foot addition, new programs in additive manufacturing, and in layout and inspection. It will also include six classrooms and four computer labs, a newly renovated space with more than 10,000-square-feet for an expanded electronics and electro-mechanical program with an alternative energy curriculum. When completed, ACC expects to have more than 50,000-square-feet in facilities to accommodate more than 600 students daily.
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Maribel La Luz