Asnuntuck Community College held a groundbreaking on October 31st to establish a welding and fabrication facility at the Elm Street campus in Enfield. The new 5,600 square foot facility will provide ACC’s Manufacturing Technology Center with almost four times the space they currently have available to them. ACC’s Interim President James Lombella and ACC’s Manufacturing Technology Center Director Frank Galluni were joined by college administrators, representatives from the CT Board of Regents for Higher Education, students, staff and faculty as well as State Senators John Kissel and Gary LeBeau for the ceremony.
According to the Program’s Director Frank Gulluni this two million dollar project will allow the college to expand and diversify its service delivery system to serve more competitively both the student population and the manufacturing sector. “It insures our ability to provide training and education annually to more than 125 youth and adults for future employment in some phase of the advanced welding and metal fabrication industry across Connecticut,” explains Gulluni. Cited as a model for the State of Connecticut, ACC’s Manufacturing Technology Center currently has strong partnerships with business, industry and secondary schools in terms of educating and training skilled workers for the manufacturing community.
The state of the art space, funded through the JOBS legislation introduced by Governor Malloy and approved by the State Legislature, will house a significant number of new pieces of machinery including a water jet and plasma table for making intricate cuts and designs in all kinds of metals.
”Our fabrication component will feature computer controlled industrial level brake, roll, and shear. The welding area will increase dramatically to 28 welding stations plus robotics and virtual welding systems,” notes the Director. Gulluni said he appreciates the support received for the project “The Board of Regents for Higher Education and the Department of Construction Services have been instrumental from the onset of funding and throughout the process of planning, contracting, and guiding the college to project implementation. He continued, ”These two agencies stayed the course from day one and responded professionally to each and every challenge and there were many.”
The expansion will help Asnuntuck Community College fill the well documented demand for a skilled workforce in the State of Connecticut. The requirement for welding and fabrication skills sets is rampant across a number of industries led by aerospace companies as well as construction and smaller welding and fabrication specialists throughout the region. Gulluni cites that nationally the Department of Labor claims a need for as many as 200,000 additional welders by the year 2020.
The project is expected to be completed by April.