Business report

MTC to Host Inaugural Welding Competition > Columbia Business Report

Midlands Technical College will host its first secondary school welding skills competition tomorrow.

The event will feature more than 40 competitors from 11 schools across the state at MTC’s new $4.5 million Welding Technology Center on the school’s airport campus.

Caleb Fulwood, Director of the MTC Welding Program, created the event to generate interest in welding careers, in demand statewide and nationally.

“At MTC, we teach all the fundamentals. Through our programs, someone can come in with no previous experience and, within months, have the skills they need to work in positions that pay between $35 and $50 an hour,” Fulwood said. “It can go even higher for the best of the best and those willing to move in for shutdown work at large facilities.”

The American Welding Society estimates that the United States will need 400,000 welders by 2024 as older welders retire. The average age of a welder is 55, with less than 50% of welders in the country being under 35.

MTC held a groundbreaking ceremony for its new welding center last fall. The center comprises 64 state-of-the-art welding bays and includes fume extraction capabilities, multi-purpose classrooms, a computer lab and covered outdoor work areas.

Look for online competition coverage in the Columbia Regional Business Report next week.

Contact Melinda Waldrop at 803-726-7542.