Patrick Robinson
Cutting the ribbon to open the newest campus extension for South Seattle Community College at Vigor Shipyards are from left: State Rep. Larry Seaquist, chair of the House Higher Education Committee, Vigor Industrial CEO Frank Foti, SSCC President Gary Oertli, Jimmy Hart, Director of the Metal Trades for the United Association of Plumbers and Steamfitters, Marlena Sessions CEO of Workforce Development Council and Rep. Judy Cliburn.

SLIDESHOW: Vigor Industrial and SSCC teaming up to launch Harbor Island training center

UPDATE June 7
South Seattle Community College and Vigor Industrial celebrated the opening of the newest extension of the SSCC campus, the Harbor Island Training Center located literally on site at the Vigor Shipyard on Harbor Island. The ribbon cutting featured State Rep. Larry Seaquist, chair of the House Higher Education Committee, Vigor Industrial CEO Frank Foti, SSCC President Gary Oertli, Jimmy Hart, Director of the Metal Trades for the United Association of Plumbers and Steamfitters, Marlena Sessions CEO of Workforce Development Council and Rep. Judy Cliburn.

The training center will get students through a six month program where they earn a certificate, after they train both hands on with state of the art welding gear and learn in the adjacent classroom space. The program was modeled after what Vigor has previously done in Portland at its Swan Island facility. They are also adopting some shipyard specific curriculum. They will offer many of their same existing classes and adding the "shipyard intensive." Students will have the opportunity to go to work right away.

Displays of the welding gear and demonstrations of welding were part of the event.

Wendy Price SSCC Dean of Workforce Education and New Initiatives talked about the instructional leader of the program, Ken Johnson. "Ken started with Todd Shipyards and has had a 31 year career in the welding trades, he's also been a community college teacher for almost 20 years. He's a welding tester who works on the Navy projects here at Vigor, he's a district director for the American Welding Society, so we have a gem of an instructor. What he brings to this to this environment where you have hands on welding and a classroom for the theory it's a combination. With Ken's craft he's going to be reaching people where they are at. That's what community college faculty do in our technical education programs. Getting people touching and seeing and feeling experiencing metal and products they will be working on in their jobs when they are hired is absolutely critical."

Original Post June 5

Information from Vigor Industrial

Vigor Industrial and South Seattle Community College have partnered to launch an industrial training center at the shipyard on Harbor Island. The Harbor Island Training Center, which opens with a ribbon cutting ceremony June 7, will provide students with the industrial skills they need to get family-wage jobs at the region’s industrial manufacturers.

“There’s a disconnect between industry and a lot of talented, hardworking people in this country,” explained Sue Haley, Vigor’s senior vice president of human resources. “People want to work and industry needs a highly skilled workforce. However, Vigor and other manufacturers can’t find enough workers with the right skills to fill good-paying jobs. This training center will bridge that disconnect by providing motivated local people with critical industrial skills.”

Partnering with South Seattle was a natural fit, she said, with Vigor providing the location, equipment and a real-world industrial workplace, and South Seattle Community College’s welding and manufacturing programs bringing their long expertise in skills training and instruction. The center is already garnering wider community support, including a partnership with the United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters and Local 32, which donated welding machines and will provide additional training options.

The center is located on-site at the shipyard, and includes a computer lab, classroom space and an industrial training floor with weld-booths and industrial machining equipment. The shipyard location will also allow students to experience how the facility works and learn from veteran workers. The college worked closely with industry to design a curriculum that imparts marketable welding and fitting skills for maritime and other manufacturing industries and will administer the program.

“This is truly an exciting partnership for our welding and related manufacturing programs ,” South Seattle Community College President Gary Oertli said. “The training program will allow its graduates to obtain the skills that they need to contribute to this booming industry and will keep the Seattle maritime industry a key component of our local economy for many years to come.”

Visit South Seattle Community College’s information web page to learn more about the program.

Training Center Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

What: The opening of the Harbor Island Training Center. Events include:

• Remarks from South Seattle Community College President Gary Oertli, Vigor CEO Frank Foti and elected officials including state Rep. Larry Seaquist, chair of the House Higher Education Committee.
• Reception with incoming students and veteran craftspeople
• Tours of the facility

When: 11:00 a.m. – Noon, Friday, June 7, 2013

Where: Harbor Island Training Center
Vigor Industrial, 1801 16th Avenue SW, Seattle, WA 98134

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