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Workforce Development Welding Program Attracts Veteran-Students

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elding cannot be outsourced, and it is an occupation that is experiencing steady growth because of the nation’s aging infrastructure of bridges, highways and buildings. The need for welders stretches across manufacturing industries such as automotive and the oil and gas industries, according the U.S. Department of Labor. This industry outlook coupled with a new laboratory and additional financial aid support, have caused Fullerton College’s Welding Technology Department to see a spike in veteran-student enrollment during the 2013-2014 academic year. Veterans made up approximately 20 percent of the department’s enrollment, a 200 percent jump from the fall of 2012. “Everything you use from your bicycle to kitchen pans to machinery were a part of a welding process,” said John Pummer, department chair. The department enrolls about 200 students and maintains a 1:20 ratio of students to faculty. Before the redesign of the 700 Building, the department offered 40 work stations. That has now jumped to 86.

Approximately 20 percent of the seats are allocated for veteran-students every semester. The Nexus Grant, which is coordinated by the Center for Advanced Competitive Technologies, provides funding for veteran-students in welding, machining and printing. The number of enrolled veterans increased largely due to word of mouth and the students’ interest in hands-on, occupational courses. Benefits of the program are not limited to veterans. Private industry has been generous to the department and some of the machinery, equipment, and tools have been donated. “All equipment in the building is state-of-the-art and less than five years old,”Pummer said. “We are able to combat lab fees with industrial donations, and we are the only community college in California without a lab fee,” he added. The 32-week program allows students to become certified. Accelerated programs are also available for students and are often filled to capacity, Pummer said. Welding classes are also taken by students earning associate degrees in manufacturing technology, automotive technology, industrial drafting and industrial arts. (Above) The Welding Department’s appeal, particularly among veteran-students, helped boost enrollment numbers in the 2013-2014 school year.

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2013-2014 Fullerton College Annual Report  

The 2013-2014 Fullerton College Annual Report showcases many of the unique programs and services offered at the college.

2013-2014 Fullerton College Annual Report  

The 2013-2014 Fullerton College Annual Report showcases many of the unique programs and services offered at the college.

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