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North Country College Expands Welding Program
 
Published Monday, February 13, 2017

After a decade of training and placing students in welding positions at more than 30 Granite State organizations, White Mountains Community College’s (WMCC) advanced welding program will be expanding this year through a new Associate in Trades Management degree beginning in the fall of 2017. The new program will provide graduates with more training for leadership skills introduced in WMCC’s welding, advanced welding and industrial maintenance certificates.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Berlin-based WMCC, one of seven colleges in the Community College System of NH. WMCC offers associate degree and certificate programs, plus training options, geared toward preparing students for trade careers and giving them the ability to transfer to four year colleges and universities.

The advanced welding programs focus on hands-on learning, with as much as 90 percent of the instruction taking place in a lab. It also provides career preparation training to assist students with resumes, mock interviews and networking opportunities with local companies to refine soft skills.

To date, 100 percent of its job-seeking students complete the program with a job waiting for them. Some companies hiring WMCC grads include the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Westinghouse Electric and Cianbro, among others.

“We focus on hands-on learning and the skills that will help the student excel in his or her career,” says Michael Pike, welding program coordinator at WMCC. “Because of the flexibility and stackability of our certificates and Associate degree structure, we see people of all ages and experience attracted to this program and the pathways to employment that it creates.”

The base for WMCC’s program is the Advanced Welding Certificate, a full time, two semester program. Graduates learn the core applications of the welding trade, as well necessary safety, blueprint reading and other skills needed for employment in today’s welding industry. The certificate provides students with the skills and knowledge necessary to achieve certification in multiple processes by including test preparation as part of the course.

Pike helped launch the school’s Welding Technology degree and certificate programs 10 years ago.


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