Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva successfully secured $1 million in funding from the 2018-19 State Budget for Fullerton College’s welding program. The investment from the state, by Assemblywoman Quirk-Silva, will allow Fullerton College to better equip students with the skills needed to meet the growing needs of industry.
“This funding represents a critical investment in Orange County, and California’s future workforce and economy,” Quirk-Silva said. “American manufacturing is the bedrock of our economy, and students with the technical skills learned in this department will find a wide variety of manufacturing opportunities and technical positions in today’s job market.”
On October 4, Assemblywoman Quirk-Silva visited the Welding Department for a ceremonial check presentation where she reiterated the importance of the workforce training programs at the college and thanked faculty and students for the positive impact they make in Orange County’s economy and job market.
“This funding support for our welding and manufacturing programs will allow Fullerton College to be more responsive to the significant demand for certified welders, welding inspectors, and manufacturing technicians in Orange County and beyond,” said Fullerton College President Dr. Greg Schulz. “We are so grateful for this support and the doors it will help us open for students. These funds will help us serve a greater number of women, minorities, veterans, unemployed and underemployed individuals.”
More than 80 students, faculty, NOCCCD trustees, and community and industry partners attended the check presentation. It was a proud moment for the Welding Program with a lot of excitement in the air.
“Representative Quirk-Silva we all want to thank you for the tremendous support you have provided to our students and the program. The funds invested in this program help to grow skilled workers for our economy,” said Will Daniel, coordinator of the Welding Department. “We are very thankful for the support and the recognition today.”
The funds will be used for a variety of upgraded equipment, such as welding machines capable of welding materials found in aerospace and national defense projects. Fullerton College also plans to purchase new fabrication and cutting equipment, so the students are able to do more complex structural weldments. The college will be adding robotic technology, as well. Manufacturing is increasingly adopting welding robots and technicians in automation, and this will keep North Orange County up-to-date with technology used in manufacturing around the globe.
The funding will also facilitate upgrades to department facilities. Welding inspection instruction and lab spaces will be installed to teach inspection processes and skills. The welding technology department will further their outreach to veterans and encourage them to continue in new training programs, like Fullerton College’s Helmets to Hardhats program that leads to great jobs in the manufacturing workforce. Furthermore, the college has been in talks with Chip Foose and Mitch Lanzini, from the TLC Network show Overhaulin’ to help the department build a functional welding vehicle, to bring welding education to area schools and businesses.
“These are exciting projects that will have a great impact for many years. Thank you Representative Quirk-Silva for your vision and support of manufacturing and welding in our area,” Technology and Engineering Dean Ken Starkman said.
The check presentation coincided with National Manufacturing Week, which provides an opportunity for manufacturers, community colleges and universities to open their doors to showcase new and emerging technology used in advanced manufacturing.
See photos from the day the Fullerton College Facebook page.