As the demand for certified welders continues to grow, education providers are increasing their programs to fulfill the need.
Alvin Community College donated equipment to Danbury High School to allow the school to build on its welding program.
“We learned about Danbury ISD’s need for equipment through our involvement with The Greater Houston Partnership,” said Chase Burgin, ACC director of industrial programs. “We were excited to hear that Danbury ISD was attempting to expand their welding program and even more excited that we were able to help.”
The five machines will help the high school increase the number of workstations and allow up to 42 new students to join the program next year, said Jimbo McCall, Danbury welding teacher.
“Thanks to ACC, the donation will ease the burden of this expense,” he said. “Now we will be able to have up to 14 students per class now, and the interest is here for sure.”
This school year was the first for Danbury’s welding program. There were 21 students who immediately expressed interest in joining the program when it started, and administrators were concerned they would have to turn students away.
“We are a small district, so it has been a challenge to get this program up and running,” McCall said.
ACC had the opportunity to assist Danbury in expanding its program.
“Welding is a rewarding career, but starting up a welding program and maintaining it is extremely expensive,” Burgin said.
Local industry has seen an increase in the need for experienced welders, and it is vital that educators help meet the demand, Burgin said.
ACC upgraded its industrial labs in 2016 with assistance from the Jobs and Education for Texans grant from the Texas Workforce Commission. The new equipment from the grant left ACC with a surplus of machines, he said.
“We at the college know how difficult it can be to start a program having just recently gone through a reorganization of our curriculum,” Burgin said. “It was ACC’s pleasure to be able to assist Danbury by donating five Miller welding machines for their program.”