As the demand for welders at Pueblo companies continues to increase Pueblo Community College unveiled a $1.3 million renovation to its welding labs. The project allows the college to expand enrollment and meet the regional and statewide workforce demand. PCC currently has more than 150 welding majors and classes run from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. throughout the week.
The weld shop was expanded by more than 1,600 square feet, bringing the total space to more than 6,000 square feet. Ten new welding stations were added along with numerous enhanced safety features, new lighting and dedicated space for major fabrication equipment. In addition, the entire ventilation system was upgraded with new ducts, exhaust fans and a dust collector.
Welding Program Manager Catlin Davis said students now can learn the four major welding processes – stick, TIG, MIG and flux cored arc welding – on one machine, allowing them to spend more time in one place and build the muscle memory needed to improve their skills.
PCC was able to complete the renovation and expansion thanks to funding from the state Capital Development Committee. The money was left over from funds authorized in SB17-267 (Sustainability of Rural Colorado) for other state projects. The total amount allocated to PCC was $1,349,041.
PCC President Patty Erjavec said being able to offer students a first-class learning environment will pay off as soon as they begin their career.
“When you go into the workforce and people see that you’ve graduated from Pueblo Community College… they know that you have the skills to be a great worker and a great contributor to that business or industry,” she said.