November 20, 2018

SMCC opens welding lab to train BIW prospects

Courtesy / Southern Maine Community College
Courtesy / Southern Maine Community College
Students are shown working in SMCC’s manufacturing technician training course offered through the school’s workforce development department. Qualified participants who successfully complete the training will be interviewed for positions at Bath Iron Works.

About SMCC

Southern Maine Community College is Maine's largest and oldest community college. Founded in 1946, SMCC offers courses at its South Portland and Brunswick campuses, at community satellite locations and online. SMCC has among the lowest tuition and fees in New England and offers more than 40 degree programs.

Southern Maine Community College said Monday that it has opened a new welding lab with state-of-the-art equipment to train prospective employees for Bath Iron Works, which is owned by General Dynamics (NYSE:GD).

SMCC's new lab, set up in a building leased by BIW close to SMCC's Midcoast Campus at Brunswick Landing, contains 10 welding stations. Qualified participants who successfully complete the training will be interviewed for positions at BIW.

"SMCC is devoted to offering affordable, accessible workforce development training that strengthens Maine's economy," said SMCC President Joe Cassidy in a news release. "These welding stations represent our commitment to help businesses build the workforces they need to grow and thrive, while providing Maine workers the skills they need for high-paying careers with bright futures."

SMCC signed an agreement last year with BIW to provide welding and other training to up to 90 prospective employees through the school's workforce development department. With many of its most experienced workers nearing retirement, BIW needs more employees who are trained in specific in-demand skills at the shipyard.

"This program is important to us because it will bring skilled workers to the shipbuilding ranks and further the overall workforce development within the state of Maine as we seek to attract and train a qualified workforce of the future," said Andrew Bond, BIW's vice president of human resources.

The new welding equipment is portable and can be moved to other locations for future workforce training programs for other companies.

Equipment was purchased through a grant from the Maine Quality Centers, which is part of the Maine Community College System and provides customized workforce training grants to Maine employers, with training delivered through SMCC and other community colleges.


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