WILLIAMSPORT, LYCOMING COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — A Lycoming County college is celebrating the expansion of one its departments. Penn College announced its new and improved welding lab.
On Wednesday, students were fabricating, sculpting and sparks were flying in the new welding lab at Penn College of Technology.
“The new expansion of the welding lab is absolutely awesome,” said Josiah Maenza, sophomore.
The multi-million dollar project adds a new automation wing, a fabrication pipe and a pipe welding pipe alley, giving students the flexibility to spread out and complete their final products.
“By having this extra space we have a lot more room now that we can actually get more in depth with processes,” said Michael Allen, welding instructor.
It also includes robotics and classrooms.
“The benefits are endless,” said Cinnamon Digan, sophomore.
Digan is majoring in welding engineering and fabrication. She tells Eyewitness News having hands-on experience in the lab is preparing her for the real world.
“Now’s the time to be in it, welding is an industry that’s constantly in demand I’m excited to get my degree from one of the top-known schools as far as we have the biggest shop on the east coast for learning purposes,” said Digan.
The American Welding Society projects that more than 375,000 welding jobs will be available by 2023. For Maenza, he’s using the lab to practice for the American Welding Society competition next Friday.
“We take two levels plates, make an open route, fill it up, hot pass, cap it,” said Maenza.
“I think in the end everybody is going to benefit from this project,” said Allen.
In previous years, there was a waiting list to be able to join the welding department, but now, with the new expansion, educators say there’s room to bring on an additional 60 students.