San Jacinto College students Eduardo Alvarez and Arturo Garza train at the newest welding facility at the Central Campus. Photo credit: Jeannie Peng-Armao, San Jacinto College marketing department
Updated facility gives San Jacinto College welding students upper hand on industry training
Jeannie Peng-Armao -- July 6, 2012
PASADENA, Texas — Welding is a craft trade that is in large demand, in part because of an aging workforce and lack of skilled workers.
With welding jobs impacting a variety of sectors, from automotive to manufacturing, San Jacinto College has renovated its training facilities for students to prepare for possible hiring immediately upon graduation.
"What has been designed is a welding facility that far exceeds any welding or pipefitting shop I've seen," said Jeffrey Parks, the College's Central Campus dean of industrial and applied technology. "It's a very well thought out facility. Our welding program is now housed in an ergonomic and teachable space with an environment that focuses on safety first and foremost as well as providing students with a realistic welding environment."
San Jacinto College offers instruction on the basic processes used in 90 percent of the welding performed in the petrochemical industry. These include shielded metal arc welding, gas tungsten arc welding, and gas metal arc welding.
The 20,300 square-foot-facility now holds 8,000 additional square footage of covered external work space. There are 118 work booths equipped with adjustable ventilation arms; seven classrooms with Tier One technology, occupancy controlled lighting, and air conditioning; spacious work room; new restroom facilities; tool room for storage; and four new offices for faculty and staff. Every aspect of the building was brought up to either meet or exceed standards, according to Bryan Jones, associate vice chancellor of facilities and construction.
"Everything is current including accessibility, electrical, ventilation, and a building automation system that allows us to control utility systems remotely," said Jones. "A reliable and updated exhaust system is very important for this type of program."
Joseph Holden of Deer Park is working toward his associate degree in welding, an accomplishment his current employer encouraged him to pursue as he already holds a full-time job as a welder. Holden has trained in both the old and new San Jacinto College welding facilities.
"There's no other training program and facility like the one here at San Jacinto College," said Holden. "Having a new facility with such technology drastically reduces prep time. Also, reliable equipment allows us to focus on our testing without the worry of equipment failure."
The welding facility renovation was supported by the 2008 bond referendum to construct, renovate, and expand facilities at all three of the College's campuses. In addition to purchased equipment, Matheson Trigas also donated seven Thermal Arc multi process machines. Morris & Associates served as the architects, and Durotech General Contractors, Inc., served as the facility's contractors.
About San Jacinto College
Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, for more than 50 years. The Achieving the Dream Leader College is committed to the goals and aspirations of a diverse population of 30,000 students in more than 200 degree and certificate options, including university transfer and career preparation. Students also benefit from the College’s job training programs, renowned for meeting the needs of growing industries in the region. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $630 million each year to the Texas workforce. San Jacinto College. Your Goals. Your College.
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