Two Community and Technical Colleges Receive $100,000 in Grants from Dominion Foundation
Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, joined by Chancellor Skidmore of the Community and Technical College System of West Virginia and Robert Orndorff of Dominion Power, presented West Virginia Northern Community College (WVNCC) and West Virginia University at Parkersburg (WVU-P) $50,000 each from the Dominion Foundation.
“As new extraction methods are used in the Marcellus Shale region, advanced welding techniques and an extensive understanding of both mechanical and electrical technology will be necessary,” said Governor Tomblin. “In an effort to meet this demand for highly technical professionals, these grants will be used for cutting edge simulators which will allow students to learn in a safe classroom environment.”
“Workforce development and having skilled and trained workers positioned to take advantage of opportunities in our state is critical to our state’s economic vitality and future,” said Jeffrey Barger, VP Pipeline Operations for Dominion Transmission, a subsidiary of Richmond Virginia-based Dominion Resources Services. “We take great pleasure in forming strategic partnerships with colleges such as West Virginia Northern Community College and WVU at Parkersburg to help our schools provide West Virginians with the skills they need to compete in a highly competitive work environment.”
“The development of the Marcellus Shale, along with other economic development efforts, hinge on increasing the number of technically proficient college graduates in West Virginia,” said James Skidmore, Chancellor of the Community and Technical College System of West Virginia. “These generous gifts by the Dominion Foundation provide a marketable-classroom experience for students.”
WVU at Parkersburg will install a Lincoln VRTEX 350 Virtual Welding Simulator to allow students to learn and practice advanced welding processes in a safe environment. The computer-based training system provides students experience with a variety of joint configurations and materials. The simulator also greatly reduces the materials, energy consumption, and associated costs of the program.
WVNCC will increase the employability of their Mechatronics graduates with the inclusion of a hydraulics simulator into their curriculum. The simulator delivers training in the design, installation, and troubleshooting of complex hydraulic systems. Professionals with these skills coupled with a background in mechanical and electrical technology are in high-demand to fuel the continued growth in the oil and gas industry nation-wide.