State Budget Director Tours Forsyth Tech 24-Hour Welding Lab as Part of NC Manufacturing Week

State Budget Director Andrew Heath and Deputy Chief of Staff Jimmy Broughton toured the 24-hour welding lab at Forsyth Technical Community College in Winston-Salem today on behalf of Gov. Pat McCrory. Their visit was part of the NC Manufacturing Week, proclaimed by the Governor as Oct. 3 through Oct. 7, in order to commemorate the ways in which manufacturing drives the state’s economy.

Heath and Broughton observed first-hand the innovative and first around-the-clock welding program in the state that is located on Forsyth Tech’s Main Campus. They spoke with instructors and students about how the 24-hour lab meets the needs of students with nontraditional schedules. In addition, they learned of the high-quality instruction students receive, which includes robotic training that contributes to the 90 percent job placement rate of Forsyth Tech welding program graduates.

“North Carolina ranks #1 in the southeast for manufacturing jobs and the innovative 24-hour welding lab at Forsyth Tech helps ensure manufacturers have the highly skilled workers they need,” said Heath. “Governor McCrory’s workforce development programs at our community colleges as well as the pro-growth economic policies, including historic tax reform and paying off the federal unemployment insurance debt ahead of schedule, have helped manufacturers continue to thrive in our state. From 2013 to 2015 North Carolina announced economic development projects for manufacturing totaling 36,500 jobs and $8 billion in investment.”

“This industry now finds itself at the intersection of traditional manual welding methods and information technology,” said Dr. Jackie Woods, department chair, Welding Technology. “Soon we willbe incorporating virtual reality training into the program, but there will always be a need for welders with excellent manual skills.

“The unmatched training students receive here and the industry credentials they earn ensure they will always be in demand in the workplace.”

State Budget Director Tours Forsyth Tech

Caption: Dr. Jackie Woods, department chair, Welding Technology at Forsyth Tech (left) discusses the benefits of the college’s innovative 24-hour welding lab to State Budget Director Andrew Heath (center) and Deputy Chief of Staff Jimmy Broughton (right)

State Budget Director Tours Forsyth Tech

Caption: State Budget Director Andrew Heath (right) and Deputy Chief of Staff Jimmy Broughton (center) talk with a Forsyth Tech welding instructor about how the college introduces beginning welding students to the art of welding by creating pieces of art like the pieces displayed on the table.

State Budget Director Tours Forsyth Tech

Caption: State Budget Director Andrew Heath (left) and Deputy Chief of Staff Jimmy Broughton (right) listen to Forsyth Tech welding student Cyrielle Avery explain one of her current welding projects. Avery will be the first female welding student to have earned an AA degree in welding when she grades from Forsyth Tech next May.

State Budget Director Tours Forsyth Tech

Caption: State Budget Director Andrew Heath (right) presents Forsyth Tech President Gary Green with   a proclamation signed by Gov. Pat McCrory acknowledging Forsyth Tech’s participation in NC Manufacturing Week and the college’s esteemed welding program.

State Budget Director Tours Forsyth Tech

Caption: State Budget Director Andrew Heath,  Deputy Chief of Staff Jimmy Broughton, and Forsyth Tech President Gary Green are pictured here with some of the college’s welding students.