The Midlands Technical College (MTC) Foundation announced a $10,000 grant from the Dominion Foundation, the non-profit arm of Dominion. Dominion is one of the nation’s largest producers and transporters of energy. MTC will use the grant to expand the college’s welding program with additional welding booths and equipment, and it will help MTC train more students who can then go to work for Midlands employers.
“The impact our welding and other industrial technologies students have on the community is tremendous,” said MTC President Dr. Ronald L. Rhames. “Providing skilled employees for new and expanding business and industry is such a vital part of growing the economy and improving the quality of life in the Midlands. The generosity of the Dominion Foundation is helping MTC expand access to more students who need these important skills.”
The welding program at MTC is one of the college’s most popular courses of study. Almost 150 students attend the day and night programs every year. The program’s last graduating class had 100% job placement. The program also hosts an annual welding competition for the American Welding Society, during which high school students across South Carolina test their welding skills.
“This year’s Dominion Foundation Education Grant will engage students of all ages in exceptional programs like the MTC welding program,” said Keith Windle, General Manager for Dominion Carolina Gas Transmission. “This grant was one of 96 provided this year to k-12 schools, educational organizations, and college and post-secondary schools. Programs like the MTC Welding Program provide a great jumpstart for students interested in careers in energy and natural gas businesses.”
As economic conditions improve, the need for expert welders is on the rise. The welding program at MTC is experiencing a corresponding increase in enrollment.
“Companies are bringing manufacturing back to the USA, and nuclear power plant construction is on the rise,” said Ray Thomas, the coordinator for MTC’s welding programs. “There seems to be almost daily announcements of companies making new investments or expanding current operations in South Carolina. Competition among companies for the best welders is driving wages up, and there simply has never been a better time to enroll in welding courses at Midlands Technical College and enter the field of welding.”
Learn more about MTC’s welding programs here:
(photo left to right) Robby Wilkins, MTC Commission Chair; Jack Hoekstra, CEO of the MTC Foundation; Ray Thomas, MTC Welding Program Coordinator; Kristen M. Beckham, Dominion External Affairs Representative; Vince Earls, MTC Welding Program Coordinator; Dr. Ronald L. Rhames, MTC President
About Midlands Technical College
Midlands Technical College (MTC) is a comprehensive, multi-campus, public, two-year college serving Richland, Lexington and Fairfield counties of South Carolina. The fifth-largest provider of higher education in South Carolina and the largest provider of transfer students to four-year colleges and universities in the state, MTC enrolls approximately 16,000 credit students annually. The college’s Corporate and Continuing Education program, one of the largest and most comprehensive in the Southeast, annually has 30,000 enrollments and provides continuing education to hundreds of area businesses each year. MIDLANDSTECH.EDU
Dominion (NYSE: D), is one of the nation’s largest producers and transporters of energy. The Dominion Foundation is dedicated to improving the physical, social and economic well-being of the communities served by Dominion companies, including Dominion Carolina Gas Transmission. The Foundation supports nonprofit causes that meet basic human needs, protect the environment, support education and promote community vitality. For more information about Dominion, visit www.dom.com.