Richland Community College, in Decatur IL, has recently undergone a significant expansion in its welding program. A new lab quadrupled the size of the program space and was part of a multimillion dollar construction which included $230,000 of new equipment. New state-of-the-art equipment includes a robotic welding training unit, and additional welding, cutting and grinding stations. Students will practice three primary techniques – shielded metal arc welding (stick), gas metal arc (MIG), and gas tungsten arc (TIG). According to Richard Carter, program coordinator and lead welding instructor, the expansion “has streamlined the learning process. Students used to have to stand in line, but they don’t have to wait anymore.” Carter also addressed the skills gap in welding as workers are retiring, with an estimated 50,000-60,000 jobs opening in the five state area over the next years. This program even includes aluminum welding, which is rare in such programs, but necessary in the area due to demand.

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Click here for more information on the Richland welding program.


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