Surry Welding Purchases Piranha Thanks to AWS Grant

Surry Community College Welding Instructors recently installed the college’s new MegaFab Piranha 90 Hydraulic Ironworker that was purchased with a grant from the American Welding Society (AWS) and funds from the SCC Foundation. Front row (left to right): Will Cumming, Robin Haas, Lead Instructor Michael Dixon, Jared Roundy and (back row) David Wall.

Posted: Mar 09, 2018

Surry Community College Welding students are receiving an enhanced learning experience in fabrication by using the college’s new MegaFab Piranha 90 Hydraulic Ironworker that was purchased with a grant from the American Welding Society (AWS) and funds from the SCC Foundation.

Surry was one of only 11 schools that was chosen to receive the award out of more than 100 high schools, trade and technical schools and community colleges nationwide that applied for the 2017 grant program. SCC received $22,180 from the AWS Foundation Welder Workforce Grant, the only school in North Carolina to receive the grant funding.

Surry Lead Welding Instructor Michael Dixon completed the grant application. The SCC Foundation provided an additional $10,000 in matching funds to purchase the machine and its attachments.

“This machine is going to take our welding program to the next level in my quest to make it the premier community college Welding Technology program in North Carolina,” Dixon said. “We are proud to be selected to receive this prestigious AWS grant award and appreciate the SCC Foundation in their assistance.”

The P90 Ironworker will facilitate added skillsets for Surry Welding graduates. Fabrication class will provide students hands-on lab instruction in shearing, punching, notching, and plate bending operations. 

The AWS grant program was launched last year to provide training institutions with funds that could be used to create new welder training programs or improve current facilities. Schools were asked to submit an application and provide information on use of funds, expected outcomes, and measures of success. The awards ranged from $18,000 to $25,000.

Grant funds were established for equipment, classroom and lab materials, and facility improvements. The major purpose of the grants is to increase the number of students in the welding program, or to increase the number of welding students that graduate from the welding program. The grant recipients will submit a final report to the AWS Foundation to document the project’s success.

"Our goal here at the American Welding Society Foundation is to ensure growth and development in the welding industry, to increase the number of welding graduates, and to facilitate job placement in the industry" said AWS Foundation Executive Director Monica Pfarr. "We believe these grants will help us do that by supporting welding schools around the country."

Follow the Welding program on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @surrywelding. Watch an informative video about Surry’s Welding program on the program website on surry.edu. 


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