WMCC to offer associate's degree in welding

michael-pike-welding-class-wmccFrom left: White Mountains Community College Welding Program Coordinator Michael J. Pike, and welding instructors Heather Wells, Stewart White and Jonathan Mullins. (COURTESY PHOTO)BERLIN — After a decade of successfully training and placing students in welding positions at more than 30 Granite State organizations, the White Mountains Community College's advanced welding programs will be expanding this year through a new associate in trades management degree offering in the fall of 2017. The new program will provide graduates with more training for leadership skills introduced in WMCC's welding, advanced welding and industrial maintenance certificates.

The advanced welding programs offer an education experience that is heavy on hands-on learning. As much as 90 percent of the instruction takes place in a lab. It also provides career preparation training to assist students with resumes, mock interviews and networking opportunities with local companies to refine soft skills.

To date, 100 percent of its job-seeking students complete the program with a job waiting for them. Some companies hiring WMCC grads include the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Westinghouse Electric and Cianbro, among others.

"Attitude and the desire to learn are major tenets of our program, so we focus on hands-on learning and the skills that will help the student excel in his or her career," said Michael J. Pike, a welding technology instructor and the program's coordinator at White Mountains Community College. "Because of the flexibility and stackability of our certificates and associate degree structure, we see people of all ages and experience attracted to this program and the pathways to employment that it creates."

Wheels: Deferred destruction

By Eric Meltzer

Catastrophe can relate to so many things in life, from health issues to employment to car trouble. In the grand scheme of things, car problems really don't seem life-altering until it happens to you and suddenly, you're faced with no way to get to work, or the grocery store, or any other important errand. Maybe not life-altering but certainly lifestyle-altering.