Johnston Community College program creating a pipeline to fill fabrication needs of area employers

Johnston Community College program creating a pipeline to fill fabrication needs of area employers

September 14, 2023

Employers in Johnston County have indicated a need to fill more than 100 existing and 130 new fabrication positions.

In 2020, the Golden LEAF Foundation Board of Directors awarded $185,994 to Johnston Community College to address a significant unmet need for qualified fabricators in the region. Golden LEAF funds were used to purchase and install new fabrication equipment and for software and educator training, as well as costs associated with summer camps.

“Johnston Community College has established a new fabrication program and became a Certified Education Center through the Fabricators and Manufacturers Association,” said Robert Long, Lead Welding Instructor for Johnston Community College. “This program has allowed the college to be able to be a provider of specialized training for incumbent workers, add fabrication curriculum to the existing welding degree program, and offer a stand-alone certificate option.”

In Spring 2023, 12 students graduated from Johnston Community Colleges’ Welding/Fabrication program.

Like with most hands-on community college programs, the college did see a dip in enrollment numbers during the height of the pandemic; however, the summer camps offered through Golden LEAF funding have helped build the pipeline of interest for the Welding/Fabrication program.

“The purpose of our manufacturing camp is to give young students the opportunity to experience welding and metal fabrication first-hand,” said Long. “This opportunity allows students to see what advanced manufacturing is about and through this exposure may open choices for career options. Not only do they get hands-on experience building projects, but they also get exposure to CAD design, CNC programming, and presentations by industry partners.”

Johnston Community College has held manufacturing training camps with a total of 21 students attending these camps. The enrollment for the Welding/Fabrication program for Fall 2023 is up to 125 students.

“We are very grateful to the Golden LEAF Foundation for making all of this possible,” said Long.

To learn more about the Welding/Fabrication programs, visit Johnston Community College’s website.


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