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NPCC expands, modernizes welding shopTell North Platte what you think
Photo by Darla Golden
New equipment
Photo by Darla Golden
Welding station
Photo by Darla Golden
Welded art on display
Photo by Darla Golden
A welding project

North Platte Community College held an open house Thursday for its renovated, updated welding instruction program.

New equipment replaces equipment that was in some cases 25 years old and includes 12 permanent and two portable WeldStations; two portable exhaust systems; a cold saw; a weld bend tester; a drill press; two large toolboxes; two industrial-strength ceiling fans; upgrades on the plasma cutter and numerous smaller items.

Additionally, two grinding rooms with two new grinders, four stations, and updated filtration systems were added.

According to Bruce Dowse, dean of outreach and training, one of the best features of is the filtration system, which not only purifies the air but helps control room temperature more efficiently.

“This helps with noise, with pollution and with safety,” Dowse said.

He is also pleased with the variety of welders that are now available for students.

“These multi-process welders give students the opportunity to try TIG, MIG, and Arc welding,” he said, adding, “Once they finish welding, our new bend tester easily and effectively tests the weld to make sure it meets certification qualifications. This enhances the safety of the weld.”

The Scotchman Cold Saw is a circular saw designed to produce fast, burr-free cuts without heat or sparks.

“The cooler temperature allows students to cut large materials with a very slow-action, precise cut,” Dowse said.

Dowse gives credit to Electrical Technology Instructor Jake Elmshaeuser and his students for assistance in upgrading the wiring to ensure compatibility with all the new equipment.

Dowse also said Ike Nickerson, former NPCC Electrical Technology Instructor, was instrumental in coordination.

“And it has been a process,” Dowse said with a laugh. “Far more planning, research, preparation, and effort went into this project than meets the eye. We faced a lot of challenges along the way, but the payoff is that we now have more modernized facilities that will ultimately help us better train our students and railroad employees to meet industry needs.”

The project was funded with a $399,861 grant from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training program.

The grant was awarded in October 2011 and will continue through September 2014.

Grants coordinator Bonnie Kruse said the renovations will improve safety and increase the industry-relevance of welding instruction and have ongoing positive outcomes for MPCC students for years.


The Bulletin staff contributed to this report.


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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 10/25/2013
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