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Highland expands Welding program focus with new, larger lab space

Highland Community College will unveil a new Welding lab with special events on Thursday, Dec. 14 at the Dorothy and RC Clock Technology Center, 2998 W. Pearl City Road, Freeport, Ill.

Join supporters of the college for an open house at 11 a.m. in the new Welding lab. This public event will be preceded by an invitation-only ribbon-cutting ceremony for Highland supporters who helped make the reimagined lab space possible through private donations to the college’s Foundation.

While Highland has been offering quality Welding training courses for decades, this shift to a bigger facility reflects the college’s commitment to meeting regional workforce demands. The new lab, at 4,800 square feet, is more than double the size of the college’s original 1,900-square-foot space. The college has installed all-new equipment in this higher-capacity area, including machines, an exhaust system, safety curtains and gas lines directly plumbed into each workstation, which enhances safety.

The college is also committed to instruction, and regularly sends faculty to training to advance their skills. The college will continue working with its Advisory Committee, local manufacturers, and the Plumbers and Pipefitters union to determine and evaluate Welding program offerings and changes.

Program leadership also regularly pursues new partnerships and resources to support Welding at the federal level. The college recently successfully completed a five-year contract with the Federal Bureau of Prisons to offer screened cohorts from Thomson the opportunity to complete Welding certificates.   The college is currently pursuing a Department of Labor grant, in the hopes of investing in advanced technologies and supporting more students from groups traditionally underrepresented in the field.

For more on the Welding program, email or