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Timberland welding program shows "devotion" to community from local business/industry partners

Published Thursday, October 17, 2019

THS welding lab ribbon-cutting

BCSD Superintendent Dr. Eddie Ingram celebrates after he and others cut the ribbon at the grand opening ceremony for the Timberland High welding lab on Thursday, October 17, 2019. (BCSD photo)

With the help of local business/industry partners, a space on the campus of Timberland High has become a state-of-the-art welding lab set to prepare students in Berkeley County for one of the Lowcountry’s most in-demand jobs.

The collaboration of Berkeley County Economic Development, W International, Pacolet Milliken / Cooper River Partners and Berkeley Electric Cooperative resulted in an approximate $500,000 investment in the students and community members of St. Stephen and surrounding areas.

On Thursday, October 17, community members, local business leaders and Timberland High students gathered at the new welding lab for a grand opening celebration that included a traditional ribbon-cutting and a first look for many at 16 modern welding stations, a virtual welding simulator and other metal fabrication devices.

“Berkeley County is blessed to have many dedicated partners focused on providing opportunities to train our future workforce,” said Berkeley County Supervisor Johnny Cribb. “This program is a testament to the many paths to success in South Carolina. Berkeley County Council and I have fought for this program and other training opportunities, to help build promise for County citizens and industries. We look forward to celebrating this effort and seeing its success.”

In addition to regular welding classes at Timberland High, there is an adult community education program that will provide attendees the training needed to pursue opportunities with W International and similar manufacturing companies.

“The commitment from our local business and industry partners to outfit this lab in just one year is amazing,” said BCSD Superintendent Dr. Eddie Ingram. “We have a commitment to ensure our students are career ready, and with the support provided to the Timberland welding lab, we can say what our students receive will be cutting edge and timely. Our partners have shown a devotion to the community by providing talent, time and financial investments to better aid students and community members with learning skills and earning credentials in this area of high demand.” 

The welding lab at Timberland High is one of two supported by the aforementioned business partners. A second welding lab at Cross High will open in 2020. With the two new labs, BCSD’s Office of Career and Technical Education will offer welding programs at five campuses and provide an opportunity for all interested students in Berkeley County to pursue a career in welding.

Brian Troutman