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Regional welding program taking shape

Enroll now for classes

Staff writer

It was just a ceremony Sept. 10, when Hillsboro leaders and representatives of Kansas Department of Commerce and Butler Community College gathered at the soon-to-be-opened BCC welding school at Hillsboro.

A ceremonial signing to receive a $100,000 grant from the department of commerce kept the momentum going for a new welding school program. Remodeling of a portion of the former AMPI building, now owned by the City of Hillsboro, has begun with classes anticipated to begin Oct. 15.

BCC has committed to at least a three-year program, offering two, eight-week classes with a maximum of 15 students per class.

“This is not a Hillsboro project,” Phil Wyssenbach, president of Hillsboro Industries, said. Wyssenbach was one of the key players who expressed a need for a welding school.

He thanked the City of Hillsboro for “picking up the ball” and helping make this project a reality.

Mike Beene, regional director of Kansas Department of Commerce, commended the city for providing a facility and the college for providing the program.

Following the ceremony, officials and community leaders took a tour of the facility.

A large area has been designated for the welding training area. A separate classroom facility also is planned.

David Tucker, a BCC instructor from Eureka, will be the lead instructor for the class. Tucker has been a welder for many years, owning and operating his own business.

Those wanting to learn the welding trade are encouraged to enroll. It also will serve as a re-training opportunity for those who have a welding career.

High school students within the county and in the area are encouraged to enroll.

If this program takes off as planned, BCC may offer auto mechanics and woodworking classes.

Financial aid is available to assist with the costs of tuition, fees, and equipment. Those who complete the program will earn six credit hours that can be used toward an associate of arts degree offered on the Marion BCC campus.

The cost is $1,250 for tuition, fees, materials, and certification. Tools are extra.

For more information or to enroll, contact Pauline Holub at BCC of Marion at (620) 382-2183.

Last modified Sept. 17, 2008

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