Labette Community College program looks to provide more industry-specific training to students

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Labette County Community College is looking to help fill vacant trade jobs specifically. There is a need for welders, and the school is looking to do something about it.

“We went out to industry to see what they’re needing from different businesses, and one of the biggest things they were needing right now is welders for their facility. So with that, we started working on getting a program,” explained LCC Director of Workforce Education Ross Harper.

That’s why the Labette Community College Workforce Training Center was created.

Housed in a building donated to the school by the City of Parsons, is classrooms, offices and a welding center — something the college hopes brings a competitive edge for their students.

“It’s not nessecarily a program, but what can we do as a college–especially workforce to offer for these different businesses around town,” Harper added.

Before creating the center, they reached out to local businesses to see what they could do to help industry in the area. It came down to welders–surrounding employers were in serious need of them.

The new center will work to educate both college and high school students in welding and connect them to a job after graduation.

“For them to graduate and maybe go out and potentially make 50-60 thousand dollars as a welder somewhere, as their first year out of high school, I think that’s an awesome opportunity for them,” said Harper.

And, they hope this new addition leads to even more expansion.

“With the building, we do have room for expansion, so currently, we’re seeking out different programs, different needs from industry to see what their needs are to expand on the programs that we have,” Harper explained.

Labette County Community College will host a ribbon cutting and dedication for the building Tuesday at 10 am. The event is open to the public as well as faculty and students.

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