Calhoun Community College is one of five finalists for the Appalachian Regional Commission, U.S. Department of Energy Advanced Welding Workforce Initiative Awards.
According to ARC, the Calhoun Robotics Welding Program was selected based upon plans to increase course offerings, which will include robotics welding for students and incumbent workers seeking careers in North Alabama’s growing aerospace and defense-related manufacturing industries.
“Words cannot express how honored we are for our program to be named a finalist for such a prestigious award,”said John Holley, Calhoun dean of technologies. “We have an outstanding team that goes above and beyond each day to ensure our students are receiving the most up-to-date welding training being utilized in today’s industry.”
Selected projects were part of a highly competitive applicant pool. Those that were selected advanced to the final stage due to their anticipated impact on the region's advanced welding and manufacturing workforce, particularly their capacity to meet growing demands across several industries. Finalists were also chosen based on connecting proposals with pressing regional needs, including expanding offerings into economically distressed areas, targeting designated Opportunity Zones and recruiting workers in long-term recovery from substance use disorder.
“The plentiful energy resources being extracted in the Appalachian Region are yielding a value chain that can create thousands of well-paid, high-skill jobs for Appalachian workers, including advanced manufacturing techniques,” said ARC Federal Co-Chairman Tim Thomas. “Among these are good jobs in advanced welding, and that is why ARC is partnering with the National Energy Technology Laboratory to invest in programs ensuring our workforce is prepared for this unique opportunity.”
Decades ago, robotics was science fiction, and any consideration of the types of jobs in robotics was futuristic. Fast forward to today, and it is no longer science fiction but science fact. Robotics is still somewhat a thing of the future, but it is also very much a thing of the present, with many job opportunities.
Visit calhoun.edu/technologies to learn more about Calhoun's technologies programs. Registration is still open for Calhoun’s second mini-session, which begins March 8. Visit calhoun.edu/register to find out more.