SMITHFIELD – Johnston Community College has been awarded a $185,994 grant from the Golden LEAF Foundation to address a significant unmet need for qualified fabricators in the region.
Five area employers have identified more than 100 existing and 130 new fabrication positions that currently need to be filled. The college will establish a new fabrication program and become a Certified Education Center through the Fabricators and Manufacturer’s Association.
This program would allow the college to provide specialized training for incumbent workers, add fabrication curriculum into its existing welding degree program and offer a stand-alone certificate option. Also, to help build the region’s future pipeline of welders and fabricators, the project will host two manufacturing summer camps for middle and high school students.
Golden LEAF funds will be used for the purchase and installation of new fabrication equipment, including software and educator training, as well as costs associated with the summer camps.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for our current and future welding students and exemplifies the outstanding collaboration we have with our community partners,” said Joy Callahan, associate vice president of workforce development and advanced technologies.