With bond funds from the state, Kennebec Valley Community College has opened a new welding training laboratory, located on the college’s Fairfield campus. The new facility will expand training capacity with state-of-the-art equipment and innovative space design, according to a news release from the college.

One of the new welding booths at Kennebec Valley Community College in Fairfield. Photo courtesy of KVCC

The new welding lab was constructed with the highest levels of safety, air handling, and noise reduction. The new lab includes 16 large welding booths measuring 5 feet by 5 feet each, two larger ADA-compliant 6 feet by 6 feet welding stations, 18 welding test stands, a state-of-the-art exhaust and particulate mitigation system, noise reduction treatments, and a 3-ton crane.

Such features will allow KVCC to expand course offerings for both the one-year welding certificate program, as well as short welding professional development courses that are offered throughout the year. The new lab will enhance the quality of instruction in the safest environment. The modern facility not only allows for greater student capacity, but also expands in-depth specialized instruction in metal fabrication, structural welding, aluminum welding, pipe fitting, crane operation, rigging, and other facets of the welding and millwrighting professions.

“These new opportunities for growth in the department will only enhance the quality of the trade throughout Maine and will have positive impacts on the lives of our students,” said Welding Department Chairman Brian Jonah.

KVCC President Richard Hopper noted that the lab was made possible with $2 million in bond funds from the state, and said that, “this will help to expand the skilled workforce and bolster Maine’s economy at a critical time,” according to the release. Moreover, through KVCC’s early college program the new lab will allow for training of local area high school students interested in welding and manufacturing.

The new welding lab was designed by Lewis & Malm Architecture of Bucksport, and construction was completed by E.W. Littlefield, Inc. of Hartland.

KVCC offers welding training through its one-year academic certificate program and through shorter professional development courses.  KVCC also offers welding training to the Maine Department of Transportation, as well as to private companies in Maine.

To learn more about the one year certificate program, visit kvcc.me.edu.