BELLE GLADE — Palm Beach State College’s Belle Glade campus held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on the patio of its Technical Education Center April 29 to unveil its newly renovated welding lab.
More than 50 attended, including representatives from Finfrock, Florida Crystals, U.S. Sugar Corporation, Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative of Florida, as well as Glades Central High School.
“Today is an exciting day for our campus and community,” said Kimberly Lancaster, dean of academic affairs for the Belle Glade and Loxahatchee Groves campuses. “This beautiful, renovated welding lab will help us prepare students for high skilled jobs in the future. Just know that we aren’t done yet. Not only does PBSC want to be at the forefront of your minds for obtaining skilled workers, but we want to assist you in leveling up your employees and their skills as they grow in their professions at your organizations.”
The 2,202-square-foot welding lab, located in the Technical Education Center, is nearly double the previous capacity, which will allow the college to train more students in the Glades for the high-demand field and better meet industry needs. Instead of 10 welding stations, the facility now has 16 stations and can accommodate up to 96 students over three cohorts each term. With the lab’s new modern design and upgraded state-of-the-art equipment, students will train in an environment more in line with what they can expect in today’s workforce.
Also in attendance was PBSC president Ava L. Parker, J.D, who told the crowd about the importance of growing the college for its constituents.
“Program enhancements like this are extremely important because we understand the responsibility that we have to our students and to our community. You should expect us to produce the kind of folks that you want to hire so we can make sure that Palm Beach County continues to be a great place to live and where everybody can find a job.”
PBSC’s Welding Technology Career Certificate Program is a 1,050 clock-hour program offered in the day or evening on the Lake Worth and Belle Glade campuses. It offers a broad foundation of knowledge and skills to prepare students for employment in the welding industry. Shop activities are an integral part of the program and provide instruction in the various processes and fabrication skills, including torch cutting, arc welding, MIG welding, flux core welding, TIG welding and more.
Palm Beach State is an Educational Institution Member of the American Welding Society and certified to offer Levels 1 and 2 of the AWS Schools Excelling through National Skill Standards Education (SENSE) welding program. PBSC is also an AWS Accredited Testing Facility for advanced welding certifications. In addition, students earn National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) Welding Levels 1 & 2 credentials.