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Morrisville State College adds spark to welding lab thanks to Dominion Foundation grant

Chapman, Kenneth P

Chapman, Kenneth P

Franci Valenzano, Public Relations

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Morrisville State College’s welding lab will get a boost thanks to a $30,000 grant from the Dominion Foundation. Dominion is one of the nation’s largest producers and transporters of energy.

The grant money will be used to update equipment, a move that will add spark to welding courses at MSC.

“It’s always beneficial to students when they work on the latest and greatest equipment,” said Graham Jones, assistant professor of automotive technology who teaches the college’s welding classes.

Five new welders, pipe holding clamps, a pipe beveler, Tungsten grinder, and a spot welder for the automotive lab are among items that will be purchased with the money.

Adding iron to the welding lab will benefit many students on campus who are required to take welding courses to complete their degrees, in addition to others who take them as an elective.

“Welding classes support so many majors on our campus,” Jones said, including automotive technology, auto body, diesel technology, equine science, renewable energy, residential construction and natural resources and conservation.  The classes are a requirement for auto and diesel majors.

Jones said he’s seeing a growing trend in the past few years—more students gravitating toward taking welding classes as electives to add to their overall educational experience and repertoire of skills.

“It’s always good to know a little bit about repair and fabricating,” Jones said. “No matter what industry you are in, it is valuable to have the skills to be able to fix something yourself.”

Morgan Bush, 19, a renewable energy student from Carthage, is already preparing for her future career, taking the beginners welding class.

“I want to be a wind technician after I graduate and I know this will require welding at high heights,” she said. “The fact that the college is keeping up with the times and purchasing new equipment means when I graduate, I will have the most recent training on the latest machines and I will be ready to walk right into my field.”

For Gavin Overbaugh, welding courses are required for his Ford ASSET major. “Welding courses are critical overall for my career, and working hands-on with the latest equipment is very important to me,” the Cortland resident said.

The grant is part of the Dominion Foundation’s annual commitment of $1.5 to support educational efforts through their Education Partnership program. It’s helping to fund a wide variety of programs engaging students of all ages in science, technology, engineering and math studies related to energy, the environment and workforce development.

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Morrisville State College
Morrisville State College adds spark to welding lab thanks to Dominion Foundation grant