Partnership brings latest technology to the classroom

By Joseph McCain
The Winston County Journal

The Winston Louisville Career Technical Center gained some state of
the art welding equipment through a multifaceted partnership.

The WLCTC working with Winston County Economic Development
Partnership, the Appalachian Regional Commission, and Taylor Machine
Works were able to fund new welding equipment for the program. The
ARC provided an $85,000 grant for the equipment with matches coming
from Taylor Machine Works, Louisville Municipal School District, East
Central Community College and Winston County Economic Development
Partnership.

“This facility is one of the top in the state with better welding
equipment than some community colleges,” said welding instructor
Shane McDaniel.

McDaniel noted that the equipment not only would be helping the
students at the WLCTC, it would be helping adults enrolled in the
East Central Community College night classes who learn at the
center’s classroom as well.

Gerald Mills, Winston County Economic Development Director noted that
through the help of Taylor’s Machine Works, the ARC, ECCC and
Louisville Municipal School district that the students and adults
alike enrolled in the welding classes would be prepared for the job
market and would have a marketable skill here in the county or most
anywhere in the world.

“Every child can leave school with a degree, or GED and skills that
make them employable and provide real work opportunities,” said Mills.

McDaniel has 32 high school students enrolled in the class with 11
second year students and 21 first year students.

McDaniel noted that the success of the program was based upon the
number of students who have went directly into the workforce from
high school with welding skills.

“We had students last year that went directly to work from training
here,” said McDaniel. He added he could not count the number of
adults who upgrade or learned the new skill of welding through the
ECCC partnership that gained a job.

Mills especially recognized Taylor Machine Works for their support
and direct donations of materials for the students to learn on.
“This is the core of our future. This is a skill the students can
learn here and use here at Taylor’s Machine Works,” said Chuck Donald
of Taylor’s Machine Works.

Mike Armour of the ARC noted that this program is what the ARC is about.

“Projects like this make a difference in a community and provides
opportunities for those who want to learn a skill,” said Armour.

James Webb, WLCTC Director and Dr. Nola Bryant, spoke on behalf of
the LMSD and thanked all those involved in bringing the purchase of
the equipment to fruition. Bryant recognized the ARC for all its
efforts in improving education in the state.